This story is not directly about surfing. More so, the type of materials, business model and community spirit that can be applied to the surf industry, post pandemic
In 2015, when a local paper mill closed down (operating for 250 years) in the English county of Somerset, 175 jobs were sadly lost. Enter grass-roots community group @onion_collective and London based bio-tech specialists @biohmhome who develop building products made from plant-based materials
Together, they’re now building a bio-manufacturing facility on the old paper mill site using organic by-products such as mycelium (the roots of fungi) to create a high performing, entirely natural insulation product for the construction industry. Perhaps we can apply this concept to developing an eco-friendly alternative for a surfboard's foam core, which is currently oil-based PU or EPS in 98% of the world's boards. Mycelium has been successfully trialled in surfboards for years (same for algae and other bio-foams) so why are we continuing with outdated oil-based, toxic foams?
Furthermore, profits from the reinvigorated paper mill facility are reinvested in further R+D, facility development and back into the community (with new replacement jobs). They're working with a community panel as well as running large scale open meetings every six months to allow everyone to have a say
The best ideas succeed by tackling multiple problems in one hit. Organisations often focus exclusively on achieving one specific outcome. The paper mill case study proves there can be multiple outcomes (social, environmental and economic) due to the diversity of knowledge, and also plugging gaps with complimentary services. In light of the recent global pandemic, it’s safe to say collaborations like this will be crucial in rebuilding communities with a multi-faceted strategy; using the appropriate technology and driven by progressive leadership to rethink ways of working
#surfing #surfboard #recycle #sustainability #repurpose #environment #materialscience #uk #england #biohm #biotech #somerset #paper #watchet #buildingmaterials #epsfoam #polyurethanefoam #biofoam #oil #socialimpact #thinkdifferently - 5 hours ago