Reduce Packaging!!

polybag-frosted

Can you tell me what is in this bag?

Can you tell me if you will ever use this bag again?

Would it bother you if you couldn’t recycle this bag?

Would it bother you if the bag was not made from recycled material?

Welcome to the REDUCE PACKAGING campaign!

The goal of the campaign is to have companies within the snow-sports industry ultimately reduce the amount of cardboard, plastic bags, tissue paper and paints used in packaging.  Imagine the last time you purchased a new pair of bindings (or boots, or poles).  You’re so excited that you just saved up your money and got this new AMAZING thing… but to get to it, you need to open a really colorful box (that you didn’t see until the shop took it out from the back room), paw through tissue paper, open a small plastic bag to get to the screws, pole baskets or laces then pull the stuffing or cardboard out of your boot or helmet and then open a plastic bag to get to the users manual.  You now have a mound of packaging “stuff” next to your new AMAZING thing.  So, what do you do with that mound? you either throw it out or you put it in the recycling bin (if it can be recycled).

Added Perspective

The SnowsSports Industry Association publishes sales and trending reports annually, such as the following report:

Selected Product Sales Trends at All Snow Sports Retail Shops

Product 09-10 Season
Adult Twin Tip Skis  (Flat Skis) 72,129
Adult Alpine Fat (80+mm waist) 82,787
All Alpine Skis 595,653
Alpine Ski Systems 231,545
Snowboards 533,151
Randonee/AT Ski Equipment 22,426
Gloves 2,830,632
Helmets 1,228,506
Insulated Parkas 1,741,573
Winter Boots 1,007,251
Snowboard Apparel 1,635,620

Source: SIA SnowTRAK – August 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010

So, to bring it back into focus, imagine this in the world of packaging.

Product 09-10 Season Cardboard boxes/header cards used* Plastic Bags/wrap Used*
Adult Twin Tip Skis  (Flat Skis) 72,129 72,129 (shipping) 72,129
Adult Alpine Fat (80+mm waist) 82,787 82,787 (shipping) 82,787
All Alpine Skis 595,653 595,653 (shipping) 595,653
Alpine Ski Systems 231,545 231,545 (shipping) 231,543
Snowboards 533,151 533,151 (shipping) 1,066,302
Randonee/AT Ski Equipment 22,426 22,426
Gloves 2,830,632 2,830,632 2,830,632
Helmets 1,228,506 1,228,506
Insulated Parkas 1,741,573 1,741,573 (shipping)
Winter Boots 1,007,251 1,007,251
Snowboard Apparel 1,635,620 1,635,620 (shipping)

TOTAL CARDBOARD BOXES -  6,602,080 (yes, that’s million!!!)

TOTAL PLASTIC BAGS – 8,256,239 (yes, still millions!!!!)

*I do want to make clear that the above estimates for cardboard & plastic use are based on industry norms and are based on sales figures provided by the SIA SnowSports Fact Sheet.  This does not take into account those companies that are making a difference by actively reducing their packaging print and those companies that use so much packaging that it weighs more then the product itself.

So, what are WE going to do about it?!

Great question.  We (as in you & me and everyone else) are going to email and call the companies that we love and buy product from and tell them that we really do not need an entire mound of packaging. Below is a list of emails, addresses & phone numbers for you to use if you would like to contact manufacturers directly.  If you choose not to, that’s okay.   You can send Snowrider an email with your name and any comments you might have and we will add you to our list of people who want to make a change.

This list is not exhaustive of all manufacturers by any means.  We just thought it would be better to focus on main manufacturers with US offices first, then go from there.

Company Phone # Email Address
Burton Snowboards 800-881-3138 info@burton.com 80 Industrial Parkway, Burlington, VT 05401 USA
Rome Snowboards 802-244-1758 http://www.romesnowboards.com/syndicate/ask-the-sds/email/ 1 Derby Lane, Waterbury, VT 05676
Atomic Snowboards 801-624-7500 2030 lincoln avenue, 84401 Ogden Utah, USA
LibTech 360-683-9414 65 Banana Way, Sequim, WA 98382
Ride Snowboards 800-985-3398 http://ridesnowboards.com/contact?dept=orders 4201 6th Ave South, Seattle WA 98108
K2 Snowboards 800-985-2191 http://k2snowboarding.com/contact?dept=service 4201 6th Ave South, Seattle WA 98108
Salomon Snowboarding 800-225-6850 2030 lincoln avenue, 84401 Ogden Utah, USA
Rossignol info@rossignol.com 1413 Center Drive, PO Box 981060 Park City, Utah 84098 USA
Atomic Skis 801-624-7500 2030 lincoln avenue, 84401 Ogden Utah, USA
K2 Skis 800-925-2189 http://k2skis.com/contact?dept=service 4201 6th Ave South, Seattle WA 98108
Volkl info@voelkl.de http://www.volkl.com/ski/news_contact.php Marker Dalbello Volklski Gmbh, Europaring 8, 94125 Straubing
Line 800-987-2576 http://lineskis.com/contact?dept=service 4201 6th Ave South, Seattle WA 98108
Dynastar 1413 Center Drive, PO Box 981060 Park City, Utah 84098 USA
Lange 1413 Center Drive, PO Box 981060 Park City, Utah 84098 USA
Full Tilt 800-994-5605 http://fulltiltboots.com/contact?dept=service 4201 6th Ave South, Seattle WA 98108

Add your name to the List of People who want to make a change!

Send your name, city/state and any comments to Snowriderpnw@gmail.com and We’ll add you to the below list!

Name City State Comments
Stephanie Bennett Bellingham WA

How Can Companies Reduce their Packaging?

Another great question.  There are many smart & efficient ways they can do this, it just make take a little creativity and extra time for them to do this.

1.) Ask companies that have best practices for help!! There are quite a few companies that are leaders in the field of packaging, such as: Nike, Brooks (yes, the running shoes) and REI (they have a packaging department!).

2.) Join the Outdoor Industry Association Eco-Working Group (OIAEWG).  Over 100 companies in the outdoor industry have come together to create a tool that any company can use to help them assess their environmental impact.  Guess what, there’s a section just for PACKAGING!!!

3.) For those companies that are new to the concept of reduce, reuse, recycle there are Guidelines published by the OIAEWG to help you get started.  Those can be referenced here. (please note the guidelines are still in the beta testing stage)

4.) For those companies that are on their way and want to expand their knowledge and ability to reduce their packaging footprint, there are Indicators published by the OIAEWG.  Those can be referenced here. (please note the guidelines are still in the beta testing stage)