BERKELEY, Calif. (BRAIN) — For an industry that sells the greenest mode of transportation, bicycle suppliers traditionally create a lot of waste.
Forget, for the moment, the environmental impact of bike manufacturing and the eventual disposal of bike products after their usable life ends. Instead consider that products leave factories and warehouses packed in boxes that often seem larger than necessary, filled with mounds of plastic, foam, and zip ties made with materials increasingly known to be toxic.
The industry trails other outdoor segments in the sustainability of its packaging.
Retailers have an up close view of the packaging and they have to deal with the leftovers, one way or another, after a product is assembled and put on display. More can be done to have less do more, several retailers told BRAIN. And sustainability experts and suppliers say real improvement will require collaboration.
“The bottom line for me, and where I struggled with the bike business, is Specialized has a bit of a reputation for being tough,” said Bryant Bainbridge, former Specialized Bicycle Components director of corporate responsibility. “I wanted to get with other companies: ‘Hey, let’s get together on this stuff. Let’s collaborate.’ And the bike biz is highly, highly competitive, …read more