Since the publication of the 2016 UNEP report on Marine Plastic Debris & Microplastics, there has been a significant increase in evidence of the harmful environmental effects of marine plastics, such as the smothering of coral reefs; the entanglement, starvation and drowning of birds, fish, and migratory species such as turtles and mammals; and the physiological and toxicological stress and starvation of plankton, shellfish, invertebrates, fish, seabirds, turtles and marine mammals.
(United Nations Environment Assembly Meeting, November 2020).
At North, we believe it’s our responsibility to find innovative solutions to help achieve the elimination and prevention of plastic waste and marine litter. By incorporating social and environmentally responsible practices into our business and increasing our use of recycled materials in our products, we aim to reduce the impact of production on people and the environment.
Reducing Plastic Packaging
Our goal is to completely remove industry-standard materials like plastic from our packaging. We’ve removed bubble wrap, polystyrene and a significant amount plastic from our packaging, replacing it with paper, cardboard and innovative manufacturing techniques to produce packaging with suitable protection.
Our TwinTip accessory kits are packaged using a layered cardboard packaging to prevent parts from rattling around inside the box. Layers of card are precision cut through a technique known as die-cutting, which cuts 2D images out of flat materials. This ever-evolving technique was originally designed during the industrial revolution for shoe making, and has since been brought into the 21st century, allowing companies like ourselves to choose sustainable materials for custom packaging. Each item fits snuggly in its individual box, individually cushioned to protect it from damage.
For our Surfboard packaging, we’ve chosen a unique cushioning material that mimics honeycomb. It’s a paper that is strategically bound to allow the card to stretch into many different hexagons. This flexible material can form around many different shapes and sizes creating a lightweight protective layer of ‘honeycomb’ mesh. The mesh behaves like a spring to absorb impact and protect your product from abrasion.
Conventional cardboard box packaging is very rigid and offers little cushioning or support around large, curved items like our surfboards. As a solution, the space between a product and its box is often filled with packing peanuts, polystyrene, bubble wrap and other single-use plastic materials to create a layer of protection. Many of these materials, like polystyrene, cannot be recycled and contribute to the plastic waste that ends up in our oceans and landfills.
Each project we work on inspires the next.