5 Environmental Initiatives in the Bike Industry: Trek Removes 433,600lbs of Plastic, Sustainable Manufacturing, & More

Jul 19, 2021
by Ed Spratt  
Unbelievable scenery and a summer weather extension here in the north of Wales.

The cycling industry gets away with some pretty wasteful practices, which it often waves away under the pretense of "it's bikes, so it's green." The reality is that buying less, repairing and reusing your things, and riding more locally are the best things for the earth; however, we applaud the brands that are trying to reduce their impacts on the environment too. The perfect is the enemy of the good, so it's great to see people working towards better.

Let's take a look at the recent announcements that move the industry forward in reducing its impact on the environment.



Trek Drops 433,600 lbs of Plastic from Packaging


Trek has announced that it has found ways to remove 433,600 lbs of plastic packaging as it reviews the process of sending out its bikes.

We reported last year the first steps Trek had taken towards removing plastic, but it now appears that they have taken this a step further and dropped an incredible amount of plastic from its supply chain. Trek currently plans to remove all plastic from its packaging by 2024 and this is a huge milestone on its journey to that goal.

A breakdown of the plastic removed shows that the Marlin, Verve and other more entry-level adult bikes have seen the biggest amount of plastic removed with 246,000 lbs. Top-level bikes like the Supercaliber have seen a smaller reduction of 40,000 lbs, but this is more likely due to a potential lower volume of these bikes being sold than fewer reductions being made in the packaging.

- 246,000 lbs removed from Marlin, Verve, and other entry-level adult bikes
- 65,400 lbs removed from electric bikes: Rail, Powerfly, Allant, and Electra Townie Go!
- 58,000 lbs removed from kid’s bikes (including Kickster, Precaliber)
- 40,000 lbs removed from Madone, Supercaliber, and other high-level adult bikes
- 12,600 lbs removed from Electra Townie 7 and 9

Looking at its current packaging, Trek wanted to find the areas featuring the highest amounts of plastic and target these first by asking what purpose it served and whether it could be simply swapped for cardboard or paper. With this idea in mind, Trek could remove the down tube, top tube, seat tube and head tube foam, and plastic wrapping.

Trek does say that it was not always easy to remove plastic from its packaging, and in some areas, it was necessary to stick with a plastic option but one that can be reused or recycled. Examples of this include replacing plastic wrapping of smaller components with reusable Ziploc bags. While Trek is ahead of most of the industry in this area, the brand is still behind Cannondale, who has already created a full cardboard packaging system with zero plastic.



Pearl Izumi Starts 'Pedal to Zero' Initiative to Balance Out the Impact of Garments

Pearl Izumi is publishing the stats about the number of miles needed to ride a bike, instead of driving a car, to offset the carbon impact of each of its garments.

Every garment in Pearl Izumi's new BikeSyle Spring 2022 collection will feature the stats using the Higg Product Module to determine the amount of carbon dioxide created in the manufacturing of each garment. Using an estimate that a standard car will produce 404 grams of CO2 per mile, Pearl Izumi can then calculate how much a rider will need to use their bike to balance out the creation of their clothing.

Pearl Izumi provides the example that its Rove Short takes 5.9kg of CO2 to make and ship to the US, this would then need the rider to swap their car for the bike for 15 miles to counteract its impact on the planet.

bigquotesOur Social Purpose is to harness our business practices, products, and advocacy to consume less oil in order to fight the effects of climate change. We believe the biggest opportunity to reduce oil use through our business is to inspire and empower people to ride bikes for transportation instead of driving a car. Seeing the miles to zero number reminds you that everything we buy has an impact, and so does our daily behavior. If you love to ride, we hope it spurs you into going by bike when you can. Aaron Kutzer, social purpose lead for Pearl Izumi

bigquotesThis is bigger, and more fun, than commuting. It’s about seeing the bike as a vehicle that can change the way we move around our communities. And while it’s true that you don’t need to buy new clothes to ride around town, our BikeStyle line makes it easier and more comfortable with bike-specific features and design. Off the bike, you’d never think of it as bike gear, so you can wear it every day. Andrew Hammond, brand marketing director at Pearl Izumi

The new 'Pedal to Zero' initiative is part of Pearl Izumi's goal to become net positive by 2025. Back in 2018, the brand announced its target to have 90% of the clothing range be sustainable. Currently, this sits at 40% with products featuring recycled, renewable, and organic fibers.



Hutchinson Begins Using New Manufacturing Technique to Increase Sustainability of its Tires

Hutchinson Griffus

Hutchinson has developed a new tire reinforcement technology that claims to significantly reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing.

The new technology called Gridskin uses a knitted mesh style construction providing greater tire protection. It is designed to isolate damage and prevent any sharp object from creating punctures or larger holes. Using the new tech, Hutchinson claims the processing steps in creating a tire with this level of protection is dropped from four to one. A result of the easier manufacturing is less waste and fewer emissions by using a reduced amount of plastic, rubber and electricity. Hutchinson was inspired to research new technologies as it believes "tyres account for a sizeable amount of waste from both the cycling industry during production; and by the consumer, once the tyre has reached the end of its lifetime."

Currently, Hutchinson is offering this technology in two limited edition tires for road and gravel bikes, and they come with packaging made from recycled paper. There is no news on how this technology will be added to Hutchinson's full tire range, but it is worth noting that while the Gridskin may extend the life of the tire and lower the impact of manufacturing, it does not solve the big issue of how to dispose of tires once they can no longer be used.



Polartec Removes PFAS in its Major Products

Polartec has revealed it is completely removing all PFAS in its DWR clothing treatments on its complete range of fabrics.

Polartec was previously among the many brands using the group of chemical substances called PFAS in the water repellent treatments used for its clothing ranges. Now, Polartec has found a way to create a DWR treatment without these dangerous chemicals and it is claimed to have zero loss of durability or water repellency.

bigquotesTrial results have exceeded our expectations. There is no loss of performance from a water repellency or durability standpoint. Mike Rose, Polartec vice-president of product development

PFAS have been referred to as "forever chemicals" because they are extremely hard to remove, and some form of PFAS can take over 1000 years to fully degrade. The family of chemicals has been known to cause harm to both humans and wildlife and currently it is believed that all PFAS ever made are still out in the environment.



Trash Free Trails Partners with Forestry England to Encourage People to Leave No Trace


bigquotesDom, our Cycling Ranger based at Dalby Forest in Yorkshire, and Rosie, a member of Trash Free Trails’ A-TEAM, highlight the problem of single-use pollution on our trails and offer some tips on simple ways we can all make a difference and leave a positive trace.

We're working with Trash Free Trails to raise awareness of single-use pollution, or litter, on our forest trails to inspire everyone to help us to tackle this widespread issue that impacts wildlife and can remain in the environment forever.
Forestry England





138 Comments

  • 154 0
 Great job Trek! There is a lot of low hanging fruit on the sustainability tree and it is great to see brands embracing this philosophy.
  • 13 14
 I give credit to Trek for outfitting their team in Arc'Teryx outerwear. I bought my daughter a Trek when faced with a few mainstream choices based solely on that move, so these actions do have rewards for manufacturers. however small.
  • 9 0
 I always thought it was very strange how high-end bikes came with paperboard and cardboard protecting them, whereas the low end ones were covered in plastic. Glad Trek's changing that.
  • 18 0
 btw. it's 197 tonnes of plastic....for those wondering.
  • 10 1
 @suspended-flesh: am I missing something? When did that happen and what does that matter?
  • 4 11
flag suspended-flesh (Jul 19, 2021 at 16:17) (Below Threshold)
 @MillerReid, Well, Arc'teryx has become widely popular in the graffiti scene. "Racking" (stealing) Arc'Teryx and other GORE-TEX items is considered to be part of the subculture.

.....And other reasons you can look into if you like. I was impressed that Trek chose a brand that originated in North Van (and still does some MFG there) and is still very high-quality (although now owned by Chinese!) for their team. Kade is always wearing the stuff.
  • 30 3
 @suspended-flesh: the f*ck are you on about
  • 4 8
flag suspended-flesh (Jul 19, 2021 at 21:52) (Below Threshold)
 @drakefan705: Whatever I want. It's still the Pre-Outside+ Era.
  • 7 0
 You realise that synthetic fibres that those clothes are produced out of are polymers and polymers are plastics. So every time you wash them you are essentially washing plastic into the water system, much of which ends up in the sea. Arc teryx is defo not an environmentally friendly brand… @suspended-flesh:
  • 1 12
flag microwaveric (Jul 20, 2021 at 5:50) (Below Threshold)
 @enduroNZ: Tell me again how water and waste entering my private septic system in the middle of Michigan is going to pollute the ocean?
  • 1 0
 Also for 2022, Treks new pallet-wood bikes!
Following current trends and appealing to hipster eco/craft beer snobs!
  • 110 2
 Re: @trek plastic reduction in packaging. Zip ties are generally single use, replacing them with a reusable gear strap may be a good path forward, the shop or customer would remove it from the packaging and put it directly onto the bike to secure included lights or spare tube storage.

I would also like to see a return bin at the LBS or something for reflectors and "dork discs" that are removed by a majority bike riders. If I can opt out of the safety equipment that's legally required to be on the bike when I purchase it, at least make them removable without destroying them and let me have the opportunity to not toss it straight into trash.
  • 8 0
 On point
  • 67 0
 They've started replacing some of the zipties with rubberbands, which shops use to make rubberband balls and throw at each other when they're caught looking at their phones... or is that just my shop that does that???
  • 51 1
 when i receive bikes i cut the zip ties as long as possible and end up able to reuse 90% of them..
  • 8 0
 Many Trek bikes already come with hook-and-loop straps in place of larger zip ties!
  • 29 1
 EVERYONE: SAVE AND RE-USE YOUR ZIPTIES. Get a tiny flathead or a pick and lift up the tab that secures the zip tie. Bingo, you can now undo it! Bikes tend to come with lots of thick, strong zipties on them too, don't wanna be wasting those.
  • 10 7
 @mnorris122: there is a cost to everything. Time spent removing a hook-and-loop strap is the same or less than cutting a zip-tie. Time spent carefully removing a zip-tie is too much to be practical in a busy shop. That would effectively come out of the shop's margin on new bike sales.
  • 6 0
 @toooldtodieyoung: Once you get good at it you can remove one in a few seconds. Can't say I've timed myself, but maybe 10 at the VERY most? Zip ties are also a hell of a lot more useful than straps.
  • 7 0
 Norco bikes do this. Things like the front wheel and handlebars are secured to the rest of the bike with elastic velcro straps with Norco branding. Cool straps. Handy for holding inner tubes and bundling up stuff in the workshops.
  • 6 0
 I support the "reusable" gear strap idea. My Diamondback came with velcro straps holding all of the cardboard and foam on. I've kept them and use them all the time for other things.
  • 5 0
 Couldn't agree more. I can't tell you how many reflectors and dork disks were littering the local trails following the new bike boom last year after being smashed off following a pedal strike or a chain dropped off the cassette.
  • 2 0
 @tkclemmer: so true
  • 2 0
 @mnorris122: I was taught this when I wrenched in a bike shop for a couple of years back in the 90's and still do it to this day... I still have zip ties from the 90s too!
  • 2 1
 @mnorris122: I’m not opposed to the idea in principal - not at all. I don’t work on bikes in a professional setting, but I do run a service business and occasionally have to get "on the tools" to run cables. My experience is that sometimes even untwisting twist ties takes too long and we bust out the side cutters to move things along quicker. I would need to have this technique proven to me if I ran a bicycle service department because it sounds a lot slower than cutting zip ties. I’d be open to being shown, but skeptical.

Guessing all of the downvotes are from people who have never seen their staff wasting time while on a fixed-price job.

Edit:
@bigtim There must be something to it if you were shown at a bike shop. I’m surprised. *shrug*
  • 8 0
 Friend of mine said that he received parts from Intend in Germany that was shipped in a recycled cardboard box, and the parts were padded with (new) soft dishwashing sponges which were for him to use at home. Clever!
  • 1 0
 @mnorris122: first trick I learned as a beginner mechanic.
  • 76 3
 The RS Sid fork that came on my Spur uses a fast-decomposing soft cheese instead of plastic for the bushings. Surprised this didn't make the list.
  • 3 0
 Zing!!!!
  • 1 0
 Probably the 2021 camembert ones, you should upgrade to SRAMs 2022 stale cheddar bushings. Coming to an LBS near you in 2023, by which time they will have become even harder, it's a win-win.
  • 1 0
 Never had an issue with the SID that came on my Spur. Hope this continues.
  • 70 4
 So is burning still the best way to get rid of my used tires or should I find my local ocean to throw them in?
  • 32 1
 If you aren't eating them (chopped up on a salad or pasta) are your really evening living?
  • 8 3
 @bman33: ooo I haven’t tried that, I would imagine a nice Maxxis tossed salad would be delicious. I just love a good tossed salad.
  • 11 0
 @sunringlerider: With sealant dressing
  • 5 0
 it’s a good idea to toss them on a roof to protect the shingles
  • 5 0
 @sunringlerider: Haha! True. "Now having your salad tossed....." in best Chris Rock voice..
  • 2 2
 @honda50r: easy now. If you are getting the sealant dressing on your tire salad before it’s tossed, you might be a little premature in your salad.
  • 2 0
 You can save both the tire and used zip ties…
Cut the tire to fit around your chain stay. Zip tie it with the used ties and presto! A silent chain slap…
  • 1 0
 @honda50r: forbidden ranch sauce
  • 56 1
 I'll get neg propped to Outside and back but I've done a fair bit of research into this for my job.

There are arguements for and against plastic Vs paper

Pro paper/against plastic:

Paper is from a "renewable source"
Paper can be recycled more times over than plastic
Paper is more widely recycled that plastic
Paper looks more sustainable

Pro plastic/against paper

Paper takes many more times the amount of energy to produce compared to plastic
Paper requires an insane amount of water in its production, often being produced in countries which have limited access to clean water
Around 2.47 million trees are cut down every single day

As you can see neither is a good solution and personally I can't decide which is worse.

If you look on almost any paper product you buy, it will have a little logo on that says FSC. This allows you the consumer to trace the origin of the paper. Often it will day FSC mix. This means a mix of virgin wood pulp and some recycled content. Usually the recycled content is very low, maybe 10-15% but this may vary mill to mill. Based on this and the shear number of trees cut down every year (900 million) there's a compelling argument to use recycled plastics.

Recycled plastics on the surface are more sustainable than paper, especially 100% virgin paper. However there are complexities that run deep such as the recycling system in each country that would make this reply way to long.

Basically what my point is, while it may be a positive change in one view, it's negative in another. The biggest issue today is that nobody knows what is better and the common belief is that paper is best but most people are not looking at this through informed eyes but rather what is the common belief of what MUST be better. So always take this sort of thing with a pinch of salt and really it's down to us to improve how we dispose of stuff and what we ask our governments to do.

I work for a company which sells "sustainable" packaging and other items and I can tell you all for sure that 90% of the clothing companies of this world don't actually care about their environmental footprint, they just want it to look pretty for marketing so they aren't left behind. And we as consumers buy into the narrative without being educated or taking the time to look into it.

To summarize:. Don't trust anything a large corporation says without diving deeper to get an understanding.

There's so much to this argument it's ridiculous. Essentially the whole system of sustainability is flawed. And it won't change until governments implement better in country recycling. Every levy/tax etc. Is but a sticking plaster.

Oh one last thing to add. It may be shocking to find out that only around 25% of all waste in the US is recycled which is utter madness.
  • 10 1
 Sorry just to add one more thing. The whole discussion of sustainable packaging especially plastic Vs paper is largely just driven by opinion. There's facts to back up both arguments but I've seen aj actual study which proves one is better than the other. It's driven by the public opinion based on what they believe is best. Which is challenging bearing In mind the majority are uneducated as go the complexities of either argument
  • 8 0
 Sustainability is an extremely complex topic. It’s more than wheeling out the recycle bin every Wednesday! The supply chain is more complex than a sustainability statement on a website.
  • 1 0
 Interesting. For the water element of paper, does it have to be clean water? Does it have to be "fresh" water (vs salt)? Does the water get consumed by the product when it's made, or is there a lot of waste water (which also relates to q1).
We're at a strange time right now where some of these perceived "better" ways of doing things might cause as much damage, so I think it's important that we push governments and companies to make decisions that are actually beneficial, not just perceived as such.
  • 30 1
 You forgot a pretty big pro paper argument: paper don’t stay around for hundreds of years, floating around on the ocean and eventually entering the food chain…
  • 6 0
 @teor: good point, my bad. A big cardboard box or component would still take a couple of years I believe but still not comparable as you say
  • 6 1
 So, wait a minute: large corporations will say ANYTHING to make me believe they’re great and I need to buy their products?!

Next you’ll be telling me that when the bike industry tells us we “must get the latest 2022 model of that bike we own, because this new one will make us rider even better!”- it’s all a lie?!…………….

All jokes aside, yes- a marketing team promoting a “ greener profile” for a company is nothing short of a PR stunt.
Pro’s and Con’s are rife in this field and just like batteries in electric cars, bikes, personal devices, homes etc; there is always an environmentally impactful skeleton behind the curtain.

Arguably, you could get the industry to sell bikes on a single sized cardboard box, where the bike is completely built! At the LBS- they just role it out to the consumer and send the box back to restock/reuse.

This won’t ever happen because, the size of the box would dictate a lesser capacity on logistical movement plans and end up using more fuel in more vehicles to dispatch.

It’s all about a weigh off of PROFITS versus ECONOMY OF EFFORT.

IF the industry really wants to save the environment, stop changing frame/component colour ways every year and hold the same colour ways for that evolution of the model.
Less people will then feel inclined to repurchase the same bike with a different spray job and slightly altered spec sheet components.
  • 2 0
 @nzstormer: I’m currently working on a forestry team at a pulpmill, which pulls fresh water to use for the pulping process. The vast majority of the water (~95%) is properly treated and returned to the river downstream.

However I would have to state that pulpmills in Canada definitely operate under a different set of standards than mills in other countries.
  • 6 0
 Micro-paper does not inhabit the bodies of nearly every breathing organism in all the oceans of the world. Plastic is a by-product of the oil-cracking process and the energy expended to find and extract oil is massive. But for sure, paper ain't perfect. I was up in timber country riding and talking to wood-products folks and the biggest consumer of US Redwood pulp is China who processes it into particle-board garbage they sell back to us. Shipped both ways by massively polluting ships (no ships have a any 'smog' requirements BTW) burning bunker oil. The shipping industry pollutes more than every car in the world by an order of magnitude, or somesuch. I'm not a scientist over here....but it's a fvcking mess.
  • 1 0
 It's all about the micro-beads. Paper doesn't really have that BAD a side effect...
  • 8 0
 @suspended-flesh: The fact about ships polluting more than cars is about Sulfur Dioxide SO2 (of which modern cars produce very little). The SO2 figure (which is crazy high for ships) has often been confused with CO2 in the media (I'm not saying this is what you've done, but it could be interpreted that way). In terms of CO2, shipping accounts for about 2% globally; passenger cars alone produce over four times more than this. Shipping is actually hugely efficient in terms of the CO2 per ton-kilometre (as little as 3g CO2 to move a ton a Km, vs 47g for a diesel truck). That means shipping something half way around the world could be less polluting than bringing it across the US by road.

I'm just making this point because the buy local argument can sometimes be bad advice from a climate perspective because of this efficiency. For example, in the UK it's usually less CO2-emitting to ship tomatoes from Spain than to grow them in the UK, where they often need to heat the greenhouses.

You're right about ships creating a lot of smog air pollution though, which is a problem when they sail near built-up areas.

Sources:
ourworldindata.org/co2-emissions-from-transport
www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWiX2edcBoA
www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmNcOCwtFeg
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: This is true regarding microplastics however this is the complex part of my argument. More and more is being done to stop virgin plastic being used. In the UK for example, from April next year, any plastic bag that is has under 30% recycled content will be taxed and the expectation is that this % will increase year on year. The EU has a similar policy in place and many countries such as Netherlands and Portugal are even further ahead.

Microplastics are a big issue but the cause of them runs deep. The system is reliant on people taking care to recycle which most decent people do, at least in this country. The issue though is the system is completely broken. Theres maybe 2-3 different types of disposable plastics used in bike packaging, PP, LDPE and ABS plastic. The first 2 can easily be recycled, ABS less so as far as i understand.

My original argument is as such that if the plastics were recycled properly, those PP and LDPE products would be returned back into the system in a similar form meaning less oil is required in the production. This process is many times more efficient and "sustainable" than using paper. So on the surface, using recycled plastic products is more sustainable. For example I recently brought on a client for using recycled plastic products removing approximately 780 tons of virgin plastic from their supply chain. Were this to be paper products, the environmental impact, at least in the production stage is considerably worse.

The challenge comes about in the recycling stage. Basically recycling is broken. 45% of waste in the UK is "recycled" but studies show that maybe only 20% of it is actually recycled, the rest is burnt. We send our plastic waste to the far east. China stopped accepting the worlds plastic in 2018 so instead we send it to Malaysia who then use what they can to turn into new raw material and then do who knows what with the rest as they get way more than they can handle. Thats before they even start to deal with their plastic.

My belief is the system will continue to be broken until the people lobby for their governments to improve infrastructure in their own countries. I dont know that we have any facility at all in the UK for recycling plastic. It is actually a huge opportunity for the government. In the North East of England we have a place called Redcar where there used to be a huge steel factory which has closed down which left thousands jobless. There is now 100s of acres of empty factory space which would be available for pennies on the pound which is just begging to be turned into a plastic recycling plant to convert plastic waste into raw material which could then be sold to manufacturers. There was a brief recycled plastic shortage earlier this year which inflated prices by 30% so its not like its a flooded market. It would be a huge investment opportunity to revitalize an area, employ 1000s which are not currently employed and bring manufacturing back in country. The same could be said for many western countries. This could fix the issue but it wont happen without lobbying. The only country I have heard of which is taking this approach is Australia.

in short, the whole thing is extremely complex and the governments especially arent doing the right things and are focusing on the wrong things.
  • 1 0
 Absolutely correct about those tomato’s @seb-stott:
  • 1 0
 You actually need to undertake life cycle assessments to fully understand the impact of different products and materials. Even then it’s not unequivocal but it’s a start.
  • 1 0
 @danielstutt: You're comparing recycled plastic with virgin paper, what about recycled paper? there's plenty of that aswell, and especially for packaging purposes would be ideal
I know that in a perfect world everybody would be recycling, but that's hardly the case, and in my opinion when legislating one must think also about all the "bad apples"..
I think the way forward is to have less and less plastic, only when really necessary and especially not in disposable products, packaging etc. One clear example we have in EU is plastic bags (and soon enough plastic cutlery), everybody was ranting for a while but now nobody cares and I've seen less and less plastig bag laying in the environment...
  • 2 0
 @teor: yes there is, recycled paper is good and it's much more widely recycled at the moment. However as I say the impact in its production and recycling is greater than that of plastic so it's a complex issue, on the surface paper seems better but what my overall point is it isn't always the case. My original message pointed up the case of the majority of paper consumers get Is FSC mix meaning the majority of paper we get is still mostly virgin wood pulp. Not enough paper is recycled to meet the every growing demands for it.

In basic terms, there appears to be no perfect solution and whether paper or plastic is better is very much open for interpretation/debate
  • 1 0
 Seaspiracy the documentary really made me rethink the whole plastic recycling business and who really runs the “anti plastic” watch dogs are the same people killing the oceans. Call me nuts - but really makes you look how much BS is behind all these initiatives from corporations are all just fluff.
  • 47 7
 I have a great tip! Don't add it an electric engine on it, very ecological!
  • 10 2
 ^^^^ This
  • 9 2
 this.
  • 23 5
 Note that much ebike use in town is for commuting/getting around that directly replaces car trips. I'm pretty sure that the 3,900 miles I put on my commuter ebike over the past two years were lower impact than if I'd driven that same distance. Yes - it would have been even lower impact to just pedal a non-motorized bike, but I live in a hilly place and work in an office where I can't just show up all sweaty, so that's not an option.
  • 30 4
 @g-42: They're talking about mountain biking. Taking a purely recreational activity like MTBing and adding a motor to it out of laziness is a totally different deal than the commendable activity of e-bike commuting to work.
  • 9 1
 @50percentsure: The bikes they reference in the ebike-specific bullet points include MTBs (Rail, Powerfly), but also a bunch of commuter models (Allant, Electra Townie).

But to your specific point - ebike commuting is a pretty clear win for the planet over car commuting, as you stipulate. I see where you're coming from on the purely recreational nature of e-MTB - it's not "necessary" to mountain bike, so e-MTB would have a higher footprint that regular MTB, and that's a bad thing. But I think the important thing to look at is what it replaces. There are a bunch of places I've seen people ride e-MTBs instead of shuttling. That's a win. Or folks riding their e-MTB all the way to the trails and then riding the trails - as opposed to driving their cars to the trailhead to go ride - also a win. I've also met folks who got into e-MTBs instead of riding their motorcycles (clear win) or playing golf (really clear win, as golf courses are a serious environmental issue). So I don't think it's as clear cut as saying it's out of laziness and therefore e-MTB is a bad thing environmentally.
  • 31 0
 SRAM should follow suit.... their parts come in boxes that are equivalent to the glossy magazines of old. Seems so wasteful, and I always wonder how much it adds to the price?!!
  • 7 0
 Yeah, only thought I have when I see excess packaging and a shiny gift style box is WTF
  • 6 0
 Yup! I don't even understand that as a business decision, most shops I've been in have a glass display cabinet with the parts out of box (If they're even displayed at all). Then you're given this part in a fancy box that only stays there long enough to get it on your bike. It's utterly pointless. Just do enough to keep the part safe - that's all we want.
  • 20 0
 shops should be incentivized to repair parts instead of replace them. Broken clutch on my Shimano derailleur...was cheaper to just toss the old one and buy a new one instead of repair (shop said repair was possible but cost the same as a brand new replacement...and repair wouldn't come with a warranty). Not sure how to address the issue but there is room for improvement (before the late 90's most parts were repaired instead of replaced).
  • 2 0
 Just replace manufacturers with open source designs and 3D printed parts :-) Manufacturers don't provide any spare parts over a decent period of time (let's say 20 years), anything that break and the thing become waste.
  • 3 0
 This is a very complex topic, but basically has to do with low cost labour especially in Asia which results in very low prices and very large quantities of products which makes it uneconomical to repair things, because it is often the same price or even more expensive than a new product which there is (well, 'was' at the moment) an abundance of. So in the end the main cause is the disproportion of pay of the people who make the new product and the people who repair it + scandalously high costs of replacement parts. At least from our ('western' civilization) point of view.
  • 1 1
 @TheJD: this. Another example: brake rotors on cars. Lumps of steel that require renewal upon he slightest hint of rust, according to the EU or whatnot.

Rather than skimming off a mill or two in a lathe, new ones are produced in Asia and travel across the globe, while the old ones are sent the other way for recycling.

Arghh! These things make me want to toss worn rotors at every politician I see.
  • 2 0
 @knutspeed: Wait what? You would change rotors literally every rainy day if it was so, somewhere even if the day wasn't rainy. I was in Croatia at seaside and literally every car parked there had rust on its brake rotors. But guess what, that rust will go away during the first instance of braking when you drive again.
  • 2 0
 @TheJD: exactly! There have been cases where cars have failed at one garage, driven to a different one, and all ok. The main issue is the rear rotors which don`t get enough stick. Anyways, my point was that evn with a bit more than surface rust, this could easily be machined, since modern rotors are thick/oversized.

Just imagine what it takes to produce, ship and recycle two rotors, all made in china. This is somehow cheaper than bolting hem up in a lathe for 5 minutes.
  • 9 1
 Its nowhere near enough, and its taken this long for such a little, in the grand scheme of things its a pittifull amount. There needs to be a radical change in how we produce and consume stuff, as it is, its just a free for all and greed, its not just the bike industry its all industry, we too need to change our attitudes.
  • 8 0
 I applaud any step in the right direction. 200+ tons of plastic is a good chunk of rubbish to eliminate.
Keep up the work, it's well appreciated and noticed by a lot of us consumers Salute
  • 6 0
 I used to work at a shop and built a lot of bikes out of boxes, I'm really glad to see at least one company pushing to use less plastic in their packaging. I found it astonishing how much plastic styrofoam-esque material was still being used. Had about an adult human sized bag of foam being created by 3-4 bikes. I understand wanting to protect the high-end bikes but there must be a better way
  • 2 0
 That always pissed me off when I worked in shops. Not only was it a hassle to build up new bikes when they're sheathed in multiple layers of foam and plastic, it is completely unnecessary. Earlier in my shop days, the US made bikes typically shipped with a Z-shaped divider made of cardboard, and maybe a couple other pieces of cardboard, with everything zip tied to that in the box. No foam, and nothing showed up busted. When mfg went overseas it seemed like every square inch of space in the box was filled with plastic or foam to protect the bike.
Glad to see that Trek is working on it. Pleasantly surprised that C'dale got rid of it already (their bikes 5 years ago shipped with so much trash in the box).
  • 1 0
 Scott bikes started this 2 years ago. Minimal cardboard, no more foam & hardly any plastic to ship their bikes.
  • 6 0
 The most environmentally sustainable thing to do would be to stop encouraging people to buy a new bike every year or two. Never mind the packaging, it's the manufacturing process and transportation from China or Taiwan that has the biggest impact. This packaging stuff is just greenwashing.
  • 3 0
 Agreed. Pinkbike is a site notorious for gearheads and for pumping out sponsored content peddling gear, so this article is probably gonna be the best it's gonna get on here.
  • 1 3
 New bikes are fun though. Really neat too.
  • 6 1
 E-Bikes.....or at least not until there is a more viable/responsible way of producing and breaking down batteries (let alone the source of the energy). That and counties should be responsible for creating their own e-waste recycling programs instead of simply shipping it to China or India and having the "out of sight out of mind" mindset (though I think this applies to most recycling programs and not e-waste....most municipal recycling is sent over seas in the US).
  • 5 0
 Best packge i ever recieved was a set of brakepads from Trickstuff! Small paper envelopes with minimal glue and print also without any bullshit, packaged into another neither oversized nor plastic padded paper envelope for shipping stuff.... I recieved it at my workplace and all my coleagues were also over the top how nice it was... considering its not woke marketing from them just normal practce... Best experience ever...
  • 4 0
 as someone who works for trek they make up for the less packaging in bike boxes by sending out more packaging for P&A shipments, while there are more shipments with less P&A in each box. like we will get 2-4 5x5x5 boxes all containing a set of gloves, or socks, or whatever 1 item. more waste goes in to more boxes being shipped and less items in each box. its ridiculous
  • 4 0
 Maybe for a survey in the future: How much extra money would you be willing to spend on a brand that offers a bike with the same specs, but it has shown to have sustainable manufacturing/packaging processes?
  • 3 0
 This should say: "Pearl Izumi is excited to offload its personal sustainability responsibility onto its customers!"

This is akin to BP or Shell saying they will reduce their impact by telling people to not drive their car. Complete BS and another example of companies wanting the customers to make sacrifices instead of leading the way.
  • 1 0
 Yeah unless Pearl Izumi is also undertaking a national effort to build more bike paths or safe biking infastructure that's entirely a pr statement without any sort of trackable statistic to support the effort. And like of course people who buy bike clothing are more likely to ride their bikes, unless I'm missing something about their initiative it means nothing more than "hey please maybe buy our stuff", literally every single company on earth has some sort of vague plan to become sustainable in the near future because they have to
  • 6 5
 Sell less Carbon bikes. It might have it's place at the TdF and XC, but 99.9% (if i would know how, i'd make a line on top of the 9 behind the decimal point) of riders don't need anything out of carbon on their bikes. Also going to a drivetrain system where it's less exposed and therefor more durable would also be a good step.
The biggest step for sustainability and customers would be to finally settle on one standard. I don't want to know how many bikesparts get bought and then directly land in a box for the next 10 years before getting transfered to the bin, just because it was the wrong standard.
  • 2 4
 Or sell bikes and components made of recyclable carbon. A few companies are doing it now, including Guerrilla Gravity and Revel.
  • 4 0
 @chrod: except that carbon isn't fully recyclable only downcycleable
  • 3 1
 @chrod: i actually don't know what kind of resin they use, to be able to recycle it. So don't know enough about it.
But aslong as "traditional" resins are used, you can't recycle it.
And no, for me "energetic recycling" isn't recycling....
But does someone know what they use at Guerilla Gravity?
  • 1 0
 3 my new alloy Session 9!
  • 2 0
 @Phipu: It's hard to find out exactly what materials are used by GG and Revel - they have kept them proprietary for competitive reasons. But the gist is that the non-epoxy resins don't have to be chemically stripped out to be removed. And nylon binders can be heated, collected, and reused along with the fibers themselves.

GG:
"With Revved, the drop material can simply be reheated and reformed into a new part without chemically stripping and re-adding resin." (Matt Giaraffa, GG Chief Engr ) www.vitalmtb.com/news/press-release/Revved-Industries-Secures-First-Patent-for-Revved-Carbon-Manufacturing,4327

Revel:
"We use the same original carbon fibers, but instead of traditional epoxy use, we use a nylon polymer... And our particular nylon polymer blend is proprietary for what we're using it for in the bike industry,” (Adam Miller, on Revel’s Fusion-Fiber) www.curated.com/journal/33002/shift-to-sustainability-revel-bikes-and-guerrilla-gravity-push-eco-friendly-manufacturing
  • 2 0
 @chrod: interesting! Thx for the info!
  • 2 0
 @hmstuna: And aluminum recycling uses up large amounts of energy, plus chemicals to remove paint from coated frames. Each frame type has its sustainability drawbacks. Carbon recycling, if improved enough, could end up producing similar waste (very little) and requiring less energy (no aging process) than aluminum.

This is a good overall read:
grist.org/living/what-is-the-greenest-type-of-bike-frame

Interestingly enough, chains produce more solid waste per-pound than do aluminum or carbon fiber frames, by far. (Duke study: dukespace.lib.duke.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/10161/8483/Duke_MP_Published.pdf)
  • 2 0
 @chrod: if all those bikes would be made from recyclable carbon and actually get recycled, i wouldn't say anything. But at the moment only GG bikes are, and if all of them will come back to get recycled is a totally different question. As it is now, where the only thing you can do, is burning them, it's the worst possible material for bikes in my opinion. At least with aluminium or steel you get a cycle going and don't have to drill a new hole in the ground somewhere remote for every bike.
  • 2 0
 @chrod: to be clear I'm not trying to say that aluminum is better. Virgin aluminum has to be used for many alloys because the current recycling system mixes a bunch of different grades together and then it can't be purified to the needed specs. Carbon fibers like GG and Revel use with thermoplastics that can be melted out allow much longer fibers to be saved, but they are still already cut and have to be used on smaller parts. Far better than straight chopped fiber certainly, but not as optimal as virgin fiber from a manufacturing perspective.

The problem is that recycling is an extremely complicated topic and there is no easy answer for what is better. In my personal opinion people should work a whole lot more on the reducing and reusing of things rather then the recycling. Unfortunately, that doesn't allow people to buy lots of stuff without feeling guilty because they recycle.
  • 2 0
 @hmstuna: Good points!
I wholeheartedly agree on the consumption reduction point. We need to figure out how to use our stuff for longer, repair, modify, and design adjustability into the product. Recent geo-adjustable frames have done an ok job, Nicolai being the best with their mutator system.
  • 1 0
 Props to pearl izumi for publishing carbon footprints for their parts. Would love to see more transparency on this.

Imagine being able to pick product A over product B not because it’s 100g lighter/stiffer/more compliant, but because it’s lifetime carbon footprint is significantly smaller. That would give me a warm feeling inside.

I’d guess it’d need an independent auditor to check the manufacturing process/shipping etc, but would be something I’d pay more to see.
  • 1 0
 #endura have been offering a repair service for a few years with their clothing for a standard £15, as they say, where possible don’t throw away and replace, get them repaired, that’s why I will keep using their clothing and keep using the repair service

@pockets-the-coyote, spot on there, those parts should be a “no cost” option
  • 2 0
 who the hell would repair endura gear? their pants can survive a nuclear holocaust
  • 1 0
 What Trek and all the other big manufacturers need to do is tackle the amount of plastic packaging before the bikes are even built! The amount of plastic used on all the individual components from the suppliers before production even starts is mind boggling and produces a crazy amount of waste before the bike even goes in the box!
  • 2 0
 oe spec tires are literally tires held together with just zip ties in a box, same with derailleurs, just little to no packaging in general
  • 1 0
 Best for environment is not buying NEW THINGS if you don't have to. Who belives that same companies which want you to buy new bike each year wants to reduce environmental impact?

If you want to be eco then go buy an local manufactured steel hardtail with high durability components ( not the lightest) and just ride it for fun.
  • 1 0
 Good job trek. Terrible greenwash Peral Izumi. Your model only works if bikes are replacing car use. Just buying a bike and pedalling it doesnt automatically compensate for someone driving a car. It only matters if that journey replaces a journey used by a car. Its obvious and its just greenwashing claiming you are doing good by using a math model.
  • 1 0
 Let's get real, if we want to be totally environmentally friendly, we would not be doing 95% of what we do today. I appreciate the effort but it's still a deficit. If your a true environmentalist, humans are the plague. Anyways, stop excessive packaging!!!!! Use paper if necessary!
  • 3 0
 Are there way more "lists" now or am I just noticing them after the acquisition?
  • 4 0
 "12 ways to find the best lists to satisfy your MTB browsing needs"
  • 1 0
 As a Trek dealer, this is something that I wish was talked about more. It is low hanging fruit for most bike companies, but they do not do it because it is not something that the customer normally sees.
  • 2 0
 There is nothing green about cycling. Race teams and ambassadors flying round the world and using vast amounts of product. That’s just the marketing department
  • 3 0
 It looks like they are using paper zip ties also!!
  • 4 0
 owner of the shop I worked at 20 years ago would yell at us if he saw us cutting zip ties off the new bike packaging. Since they can be reused for basically anything, we would have to shove a screw driver under the little tag and remove each one without damaging it.
  • 1 0
 @SATN-XC: Yep. At the VERY least, cut them as long as possible, but lifting up the tab is the best way. Shame more people don't know about that hack
  • 2 1
 Cars on average emit 7 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Trek is reducing its plastic waste by close to half a million pounds. Real numbers real facts.
  • 8 5
 Carbon is also plastic
  • 10 2
 Humans are also carbon.
  • 1 1
 Dirkdh gets it.
  • 4 2
 e-bikes with a doctors note only and for over 65
  • 2 1
 The physical therapists should also remove their stationary bikes used for rehab, just to keep in line with the "I've had an injury, I can't be expected to pedal a bicycle" argument. lol
  • 1 0
 Yeah, and making battery bikes is good for the environment, because lazy people dont want to pedal themselves.Dahhhh
  • 1 0
 I am not a tree huger but maybe Amazon could learn something about wasteful packaging.
  • 1 0
 Urge Helmets use 80% recylced materials across their range of helmets but failed to get a mention?
  • 1 0
 It would be really nice to find a place to recycle old MTB tires.
  • 1 0
 Trek" gets a shipping bill based on weight.... "
  • 1 0
 More of this news please.
  • 1 0
 i dont care if its not that much, any progress is good
  • 1 0
 Outside goes green.
  • 2 2
 Too bad their bikes still suck.

(You know you were thinking it too.)
  • 3 5
 Next time I plan on going biking I’ll just day dream about it, or play mtb video games. Much more sustainable !
  • 1 4
 look what we did.. now go rip up some mountains with heavy equipment
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