Ultimately, many of the materialistic items we own do come to an end of life. It is known that the surf industry is a huge polluter towards our natural environment. Starboard wants to take action on this. Yes, we can work on what goes into our boards. Whereas on the other hand, what can we do with the board’s end of life?
SUPing and Windsurfing is a great way to connect us to nature. Also, it opens up our eyes and minds to the pollution we see on the waterways and shorelines. However, how often we do think about the direct impact that is created from the production of boards and equipment? What happens to it at the board’s ends of life?
On average a board is made of approximately 7 different types of plastic. These various materials are really tricky to recycle due to each material being stuck together with resins or glues. The end of life of boards however does need to be tackled. After the fixing dings, cuts, scraps etc. boards may come to their very end of life when they’re stuck beyond repair!
What We Are Currently Looking At When It Comes A Boards End Of Life?
Firstly by seeing which materials are large enough, and ‘uncontaminated’ with resins, we can see how we can easily take these materials away and easily separate them. Then, we would move onto see what recycling companies are currently working with such materials. These recycling companies are then spoken with to see how we can work with them to become a feed source of a waste stream. With the waste stream, we would need to work with the recycling centre or company to make sure the recycled material is then used efficiently in another product and not just lying around waiting to be used.
Communication Is Key!
There have been various people our Starboard Blue team have been communicating with. By asking around we have been lead towards speaking with close contacts of Starboard who are helping the research process. Furthermore, we have had conversations with The Green Blue, World Sailing, British Marine and using the Composites UK website. These have all been very helpful and leading us down a route of understanding and planning for action.
What Is Currently Happening To Boards At The End Of Their Water Based Life?
Ultimately, they’re mostly going to landfill. There are many ways to upcycle a board, to help delay the time they will reach the landfill. Such recycling projects or upcycling projects lead to boards and paddles becoming tables, benches, artworks. Luckily Sea Monkeys are able to re-use kites and sails to make awesome bags!
How We Do Move Forwards To Find A More Sustainable Solution For A Boards End Of Life?
We need to take action to be better for the planet, and towards nature which supports us so much within our day to day lives. When designing we need to ensure we are utilising as many materials which are recycled or sustainably sourced as possible. Therefore, removing our reliance on virgin unsustainable resources, whilst not limiting the quality of performance. Whilst we continue to develop boards we need to act on designing to make the end of life of boards breakdown to be much easier. Enabling the breakdown of boards to be easier will allow for the separation of materials to be easier to recycle and categorise.
What can you do to help?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to share whether you have any more knowledge about what you are doing with your boards, or sails when they come to their end of life.