A British golf equipment company is set to become the first of its kind in the world to rid itself of Single-Use Plastics.
Surrey-based Lynx Golf, owned by husband-and-wife team Steve Elford and Stephanie Zinser, has committed to spending over £30,000 this year on alternatives for SUPs and to increase plastics recycling resources in its business, which employs just over 20 people.
Their aim is to be fully rid of SUPs by August 1.
“Among our staff, we have over 42 children and a few grandchildren,” explained Zinser. “We want them to have a world in which they can live safely, healthily and happily.
“There is no doubt that Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet’ TV series really made the world sit up and think long and hard about our use of plastics and the damage they are having on the environment.
“The golf equipment business is not unique. Although its use of single-use plastics might not be as obvious as in other industries, there are SUPs all along the supply chain. At Lynx Golf, we are determined to remove them.”
The brand is proposing making a raft of changes, including replacing the polyethylene plastic, used to wrap and protect its golf bags before they are packed in boxes, with a paper alternative.
The bubble plastic used to pad out golf bag pockets so they keep their shape on display, as well as bubble wrap packaging to protect shipping, is also being replaced with recycled paper wadding, whilst plastic parcel tape is being phased out in favour of reinforced gummed paper tape.
The plastic shrink wrapping, currently used on every golf club head component, will also be removed altogether.
“Lynx Golf will be the first global sports equipment manufacturing company to rid itself of SUPs, but that is not without its challenges.
“For example, when trying to replace the cellophane shrink-wrap we use on our golf club heads to protect them, we had sourced a Viskring/Celon alternative which is made purely from cellulose and which is quickly and completely biodegradable into harmless elements.
“However, in its current form it’s not quite there. We will keep working on the best alternatives, but we’d rather have nothing than something that is either not really biodegradable, or that is, but doesn’t quite look good enough.
“We are therefore using other – greener - methods to hold the golf club heads in place during transit and shipping and this comes at additional cost to the business.”
Where SUPs simply cannot currently be avoided – mainly due to product protection during shipping or deliveries of supplies from companies who don’t have an ethical plastics policy in place – Lynx is actively working on careful recycling and disposal plans, although this is also challenging.
And that's not all...
Not content with ridding the company and its products of SUPs, Lynx Golf is tackling another urgent ecological challenge: the decimation of the natural bee population due to loss of natural habitats, pesticide use and parasitic infection.
In 2013, pesticide manufacturer Syngenta described bee health decline as among the biggest challenges facing agriculture and the National Pollinator Strategy was set up to expand the public’s dedication to increasing food, shelter and nest sites across all types of land.
“Some have stated that the human population would starve within four years if bees were extinct," added Zinser. "Certainly, we do know that we would lose many of our fruits and vegetables and that supermarket offerings would be slashed by at least 50% without bees. The many knock-on effects would be invasive and more massive than you might at first think.
“We believe that everyone can help, and this is why we are also sending out packets of bee-friendly seeds to all our customers who buy boxed products from Lynx – golf bags, irons etc – so they can be part of the challenge to see just how much of an impact we golfers can make in halting the decline of these fuzzy winged ‘farmers’ who do such an important job in agriculture.
“Our eco-friendly strategies are all about bringing like-minded people along with us on this journey, and we very much hope that our actions by going SUP-Free will encourage everyone who knows us, partners with us, and plays with us, to come along and join in the adventure."
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