ASB MAGAZINE: Flexi-Hex’s revolutionary plastic-free packaging is set to take environmentally conscience board producers, retailers and riders by storm. The product has been rigorously tested by Europe’s largest action sports retailer, Surfdome. The results were unanimously positive. Aligned with their own plastic reduction headline sustainability strategy, Surfdome now champions Flexi-Hex for all its board suppliers.
Surfdome has gained a solid reputation within the sustainability field through its backing of the #2Minutebeachclean. But more so for the internal operational actions to limit plastic pollution. Now in their 2nd year of the headline environmental strategy, the retailer has eliminated the equivalent of 1.2 million plastic bottles – which accounts for 74% of its plastic packaging – and reverted to biodegradable and recyclable natural materials. These actions have led to the company becoming a case study for the Ellen Macarthur foundation’s ‘New Plastic Economy’, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and has been ranked as the one of the top 14 companies tackling ocean waste.
The Flexi-Hex (patent pending) cardboard honeycomb design reduces packaging time, enhances board protection and simultaneously strips single-use plastic from the distribution process.
Marine plastic pollution is a crisis of catastrophic proportions. Over 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans each year – with a rubbish truck of plastic finding its way into our oceans every minute. And with scientists anticipating a 10% increase in the next decade, it’s time to take a stand. Today bubble wrap and plastic tape are board packaging staples. Versatile, lightweight and flexible, it’s easy to see why. But most of it ends up in landfill (recycling collection facilities are limited for these materials) and research suggests at least a third escapes into natural areas.
Surf, snow and skate brands and distributors are rapidly taking to Flexi-Hex in a bid to play their part in tackling the marine plastic crisis.One of the earliest adopters is Fourth. Since introducing Flexi-Hex, the company has eliminated 11 miles of bubble wrap. And in 2018 they expect to eliminate the equivalent of 23,750 500ml plastic bottles – making them the first surfboard brand to use 100% plastic-free packaging.
Beyond enjoying increased packaging efficiency, board producers and retailers using Flexi-Hex will be frontrunners in the plastic-free packaging revolution. And the reusable design means customers can also rest easy knowing their purchase is not contributing to the plastic problem.
“The idea was inspired by the way fruit is packaged in mesh nets. I thought, if it’s cost-effective to do this, you must be able to package a curved board with a low impact material that removes plastic, at a price that competes with current packaging costs. And so Flexi-Hex was born,” said Flexi-Hex founder Sam Boex.
‘We rely on the environments that are directly affected by plastic pollution for us to enjoy our board sports, it’s essential that our industry lead the charge away from single use plastic packaging. And there aren’t more iconic products to address than Surf, snow and Skate boards, said Adam Hall, Head of Sustainability at Surfdome.
Flexi Hex website: www.flexi-hex.com