Author Topic: How much of my gear is based on plastic?  (Read 1691 times)

SteamyTea

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #15 on: 07:22:23, 24/02/20 »
I bought a Marmot Precip Eco jacket, used from recycled materials. Is anyone aware of other manufacturers with  products made from recycled material?
Recycling should not be considered guilt-free option.  It quite often takes more energy to recycle than manufacture from virgin material.  Polypropylene is a classic example of this.
Down here, a lot of non recyclable waste is incinerated (we take Devon's crap as well) and is used to generate electricity.  There are still pollution issues from the combustion and the transport, but on balance it is better than landfill.  Plastics tend to decompose too slowly to make land fill gas, which we also capture to generate electricity.
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archaeoroutes

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #16 on: 19:05:17, 24/02/20 »
At risk of starting the usual debate, its worth mentioning Paramo's recycling policy. They'll buy back their clothing from you (for like £50 last time I looked) and find a new home for it, or if too old/damaged then pretty much the entire garment will be used to make new ones.
https://www.paramo-clothing.com/en-gb/ourethics/recycling.php?f=1
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Owen

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #17 on: 20:11:25, 24/02/20 »
Recycling should not be considered guilt-free option.  It quite often takes more energy to recycle than manufacture from virgin material.


What we really should consider especially with single use plastics is how long that raw material took to form. I don't have the figures to hand but I think I'm right in saying that crude oil can take 40 million years to form. On a human time scale that is not a renewable resource. Saying recycling uses more energy rather misses the point.

Ronin83

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #18 on: 15:41:17, 25/02/20 »
I bought a Marmot Precip Eco jacket, used from recycled materials. Is anyone aware of other manufacturers with  products made from recycled material?


Most brands are doing it now.
Craghoppers definitely.


Humans moved around out of necessity, not for fun. Horses could carry large leathers and furs for shelters etc. Once we started farming and were able to settle, weight wasn't an issue. We'd build better homes etc, strong and to last.
Now we're walking long distance for fun out of choice and we want everything super strong but super light weight.
Strange when you think about it.


I think a lot of it is also because people seem obsessed with smashing out loads of miles. Personally I rarely rush a walk. I take my time to stop as appreciating nature is really the reason I'm out, as well, of course, as for a bit of exercise.


It's also worth mentioning that our ancestors travelled in groups, so weight was shared. Hikers are often Lone walkers, probably because it's an escape from the constant people, noise and modern world. If people loved the modern world so much, they wouldn't spend so much time escaping it. If we spent more time away from it, we wouldn't need so much lightweight tech, we'd all be out there together, sharing the load and bushcraft skills.
Let's all go live in a cave haha

Ronin83

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #19 on: 15:45:02, 25/02/20 »
Not a solely outdoor brand, but vivobarefoot have done some amazing things lately. They're really pushing the sustainability, environmentalism thing.
They're even using algae

SteamyTea

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #20 on: 16:21:22, 25/02/20 »
They're really pushing the sustainability, environmentalism thing.
They're even using algae
Ask ten people about sustainability and environmentalism, and you will get 10 different right answers.
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ninthace

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #21 on: 17:17:45, 25/02/20 »
My local councillor once waxed lyrical about the council's policy of sustainable development.  I pointed out that as far as I knew they aren't making land anymore and asked what was he going to do when the whole of the Eden Valley was either housing or industrial estates?  (Sustainably built of course)
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pinkhippy

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #22 on: 00:58:50, 01/08/20 »
I was doing some research on this recently (just thinking about what I take on a day hike, I haven't even gotten as far as the overnight gear) and it gets overwhelming pretty quickly! There don't seem to be many truely ecological solutions for a lot of stuff yet, particularly packs and outer shells.

I found some backpacks made from organic hemp which is renewable, doesn't involve major chemicals in production and biodegrades. But they aren't technical packs and are pretty small.

Synthetic base and mid layers can obviously be replaced by wool options (merino and even alpaca!), again renewable and biodegradable, so yay!

I've read that there are wood and metal frames for sunglasses out there. Metal is obviously not biodegradable, but can be recycled ad infinitum, if you can find someone who wants to recycle it. I read that wood frames can be quite fragile and the so called "bamboo frames" only have bamboo in the arms, the actual frames are acrylic, so still from petrochemicals.

For everything else, I think I'm going to try to move towards recycled plastics (but of course I'm not going to throw everything I currently have to make room for them). Obviously not super eco-friendly but in my opinion, still better than buying new plastics and all that non-recycled plastic going into landfill, rivers, oceans, etc. As others have mentioned, so many brands are moving in that direct for packs, clothing, outer shells and even sunglasses (I like the ones that are made with recycled fishing nets or plastics caught in SeaBins!).



 
 

gunwharfman

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #23 on: 11:27:54, 01/08/20 »
But is Capitalism interested? I don't think so unless it becomes profitable. I also this that 'caring about the environment' is for many, just a marketing tool to sell their wares. Take straws, I can stop using one, so can you but how many people across the world need to stop using them permanently before it actually makes a difference?

richardh1905

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #24 on: 11:56:34, 01/08/20 »
If everyone were to take that attitude, then nothing will get done, GWM. :-\


As far as plastics in outdoor gear is concerned, pretty difficult to avoid. But the bigger issue is disposable plastics, either in packaging, or in one use plastic items, such as your straw.
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Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #25 on: 11:59:48, 01/08/20 »
The trouble is that it is not always easy to make an environmentally friendly decision. Much of the headline information in popular media is much too simplistic. Is replacing a traditional power station with multitudes of 150m+ wind turbines in wilderness areas environmentally friendly? What impact does cutting down forests or digging up peat bogs have and for how long? How does this affect wildlife? Sometimes, the ‘environmental’ option is actually worse than the alternative. Unfortunately, we have become fixed on a single measure.


It becomes even more difficult for vegans that would probably not want leather boots or woollen garments. What truly environmentally friendly products are available for this scenario?


In practice there will need to be compromises to balance various competing goals.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #26 on: 12:01:08, 01/08/20 »
In my opinion, straws are unnecessary whatever they are made from.

Jac

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #27 on: 13:01:15, 01/08/20 »
It's a small gesture but I now get my milk at a farm gate dispenser in reusable glass bottles. Not only does the farmer get a decent price (though he tells me it constitutes <10% of the milk produced from his 100 strong herd) but it also means that I will not be putting around 122 single use plastic 1 litre bottles into the local recycling per year.
As a single person who mostly just uses it in tea or coffee that number surprised me - imagine how many bottles a family of 4 eating cereal for breakfast, then pouring away that excess milk in the bowl like kids often do, would save.

I also love merino wool but it's worth checking the label to see how much synthetic fibre is included especially in the expensive brands like Icebreaker.

@Steamy tea  In Exeter we have our own electricity generating refuse incinerator :)
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gunwharfman

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #28 on: 13:01:36, 01/08/20 »
I agree I was just trying to express the view that no matter what we do, or even hundreds of thousands do, its the manufacturer that should be focussed on. and as another example, before lockdown, we specified no plastic bags when our food was delivered from Tesco but since lockdown MORE plastic bags than ever! Covid-19 could be a new and wonderful opportunity for plastic polluting companies, how many people now are worried about the environment?

I went out for an early walk this morning, three new fly tipping piles on the side of the road, most of which was plastic items including three full black sacks. For the very first time I nearly caught someone in the act today but I just couldn't get my phone out quick enough! A bright red Fiat 500 screeched to a halt just as I was approaching a kissing gate to the road. A young man in the passenger seat threw out a black sack and four bits of polished wood onto the entrance of the kissing gate and then sped off. I didn't get to see the driver and I just couldn't see the number plate either. All I could do was say "Bar*****s!"

SteamyTea

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Re: How much of my gear is based on plastic?
« Reply #29 on: 13:56:40, 01/08/20 »
It's a small gesture but I now get my milk at a farm gate dispenser in reusable glass bottles. Not only does the farmer get a decent price (though he tells me it constitutes <10% of the milk produced from his 100 strong herd) but it also means that I will not be putting around 122 single use plastic 1 litre bottles into the local recycling per year.
As a single person who mostly just uses it in tea or coffee that number surprised me - imagine how many bottles a family of 4 eating cereal for breakfast, then pouring away that excess milk in the bowl like kids often do, would save.

I also love merino wool but it's worth checking the label to see how much synthetic fibre is included especially in the expensive brands like Icebreaker.

@Steamy tea  In Exeter we have our own electricity generating refuse incinerator :)
Just for a giggle, calculate the mileage from your home to the farm, then the energy used to get there, the energy used to clean the container, then see if it is of actual benefit.
As a general rule, it is hard to improve on mass produced goods, even if they are processed miles away.


Wind farms, or solar farms need to be compared to new build gas, nuclear or biomass, we hardly use any coal these days.


Vegans need to take a serious look at the whole lifecycle of their chosen food stuffs, it is not as good as they like to think.
« Last Edit: 14:00:55, 01/08/20 by SteamyTea »
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