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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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September 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 48, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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What Happens to Your Unwanted Neoprene Products?

from the September, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

An estimated 8,380 tons of old wetsuits lie unused and annually end up in a landfill because of the lack of scalable, sustainable recycling systems for neoprene.

The British diving magazine Scuba Diver reports that PADI, in partnership with Circular Flow (a new British company), hopes to offer the dive industry an effective means to recycle wetsuits and other non-biodegradable neoprene products such as mask straps and changing mats. To ensure feasibility and determine global scalability, the initiative began with an August test run in the UK.

Hundreds of divers turned in clean, dry wetsuits and other neoprene items to participating UK Dive Centers for recycling. Circular Flow ships the depleted goods to a specialized factory, where the material is recycled using a patented recycling process employing electricity, pressure, and heat, but not water or chemicals.

Let's hope the initial trial is successful and they roll out the service worldwide. Your unwanted neoprene is a significant source of environmental pollution.

Meanwhile, also in the UK, A.P. Diving, the company that makes the Inspiration rebreather, among other products, has installed a granulator machine that can grind down recycled unwanted plastic and rubber parts into pellets ready to be used again in its injection-molding equipment.

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