The answer to saving our future lies in the past.
30 SECOND VERSION
One of the most important things to SeaPigs is about not creating any waste with any of our products. That’s why one of the key phrases you’ll hear from us all the time is ‘If We Make It, We Take It Back’ - and that’s absolutely true. It’s the SeaPigs Guarantee and how we Love Our Tiny Blue Dot.
5 MINUTE VERSION
“Dad don’t forget to leave 90 pence for Mr Sykes tomorrow, 1 cola and 2 bottles of Dandelion and Burdock”
“Yes I know, I’ll leave the money on the hearth.”
I always hurried home from junior school on a Thursday as Mr. Sykes arrived promptly at 4pm. At 3.45pm I would wash and clean the three glass ‘pop’ bottles I’d stashed from last week, ready to return to Mr. Sykes. A bottle of ‘pop’ was 30 pence (showing my age, perhaps) and if you returned the bottle back to Mr Sykes the next week, he would give you 10 pence back. A pack of Polos or a Chomp were only 5p each.
So every Thursday I would be left £1 from my Dad to buy 3 bottles of ‘pop’ for 90 pence. I would buy the pop, return the bottles and be left with 40p after my refund for the clean bottles, 10p change to my Dad and I earned myself a tidy 30 pence profit. I thought I was a young entrepreneur, but it was simply a great system. Mr Sykes got his bottles back each week, so no need to waste money on new ones (WIN), the planet gained as the bottles were reused by Mr Sykes, so very little waste (WIN) and the customer only pays for the liquid he consumes (WIN). So - we have a WIN/WIN/WIN.
We are emulating this simple model, using the power of technology to receive the products back after use. So our concept is not an new one, but a modified one.
In this example, it also meant that Mr. Sykes was producing very little waste for the local council to get rid of. Look at Coca Cola now, they produce 110 billion bottles (2016) globally and they take responsibility for none of them and only 10% of plastic gets recycled.
Every year, British households throw 22m tons of waste into the bin. Recycling rates have stagnated at about 44% and the UK is unlikely to hit its target of 50% by 2020. The figure of 44% is also a figure that is not fully agreed upon, a lot of it is down to sending materials overseas, which once left our shores we have no idea where it is going. It has been suggested that a lot of it marked as recycled, is actually going into landfill in countries like Turkey or Malaysia.
What happens to our waste from bin to beyond:
Every household uses on average 373 (29 recycled) plastic bottles each year, of which less than 10% will be recycled. Plastic is one of the hardest materials to recycle, as it needs to be sorted and there are 7 broad classifications. Amongst other reasons, this is why plastic is the biggest offender of pollution. Britain does not have the requisite infrastructure to recycle its own plastic waste, so it is sent abroad and beyond.
57% of paper used in Britain is recovered and recycled. A lot of paper is contaminated in general waste, therefore not being able to be recycled.
Aluminium is one of the easiest materials to recycle and one of the most environmentally beneficial and valuable. The UK uses 5 billion a year, but nearly two-thirds are dumped. It's the only recyclable material that covers its cost of collection and reprocessing, and can be endlessly recycled with no loss of quality, saving 95 per cent of the energy required to make cans from raw materials. Why have ‘pop’ brands shifted from cans to plastic?
KITCHEN & GARDEN WASTE
This is composted and either sold on to horticultural suppliers, or used in parks. It is the most-collected type of recycling.
Glass recycling is around 50% of the total amount of glass we use. That means that 50% of glass ends up in landfill and we are still producing new glass - why?
SeaPigs wants to take responsibility for its products after use.
If we make it we take it back, pretty explicit. We guarantee to take our product back at the end of its use, we will ensure that it is easily reused or recycled by us. We want to take responsibility for our products life cycle, ensuring we leave positive footprints on our planet. Our mission is to prove that there is a fairer way to do business and we believe that if all brands did this we would have a lot less waste and more innovative solutions than dumping everything into landfill or our oceans. What must also be noted is that just because we have a few extra hurdles to get over, this does not mean our products will suffer, we will not compromise on quality. Our aim is to be environmentally friendly and make beach footwear that is styled with YOU and engineered to fit, as well as being comfortable.
Why “IF WE MAKE IT, WE TAKE IT BACK”? Because it’s the responsible thing to do.
Thoinks for reading!