SAN CLEMENTE, CALIFORNIA — Rip Curl is excited to announce the launch of its Recycle Your Wetsuit program, in partnership with TerraCycle, a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle materials. Through the recycling program, old, unusable surfing wetsuits will be recycled and the collected material can be used to make soft rubber playground matting.
Announced in the United States, France, Portugal and Spain during the 2022 Rip Curl WSL Finals, the ‘Recycle Your Wetsuit’ program was first launched in Australia in 2021, offering environmentally conscious surfers the opportunity to recycle any surfing wetsuit at participating stores across Australia, via in-store drop off or mail. Now, the ‘Recycle Your Wetsuit’ program has expanded to the U.S. and Europe (France, Portugal and Spain) as of September 2022, in a global effort to reduce the impact of wetsuit waste.
“We are incredibly proud of our partnership with TerraCycle, as a leader in the recycling space. With some of our core values at Rip Curl being Community and Environment, the ‘Recycle Your Wetsuit’ program is extremely important to us. We have seen a significant uptake of the program on our home soil and look forward to the response internationally,” said Shasta O’Loughlin, Rip Curl’s Environmental, Social and Governance Manager.
“Most surfing wetsuits are made from synthetic rubber, a complex material that isn’t accepted in curbside recycling,” said Tom Szaky, Founder and CEO of TerraCycle. “But through the ‘Recycle Your Wetsuit’ recycling program we are providing a new use for this material and offering consumers the opportunity to think twice about what can be repurposed and what truly is garbage.”
The mechanics of the Recycle Your Wetsuit program aren’t complicated. Surfers simply drop their old wetsuits, booties, gloves and hoods off at their nearest participating store or mail it in directly to Rip Curl. All wetsuit brands are happily accepted.
From there, old wetsuits are gathered up together and shipped to TerraCycle. They then process and crumble the wetsuits into new raw material. This raw material can then be used to create the soft rubber matting found on playgrounds today.
To make things even easier, surfers do not need to clean their wetsuit before dropping it off for recycling, but Rip Curl stores will not accept wet items.