Trek and Cannondale are investigating options for shipping their bikes in fully recyclable and plastic-free packaging with a goal of eventually ditching plastic bags, PVC and zip ties.
While cycling is seen as a green sport, the industry currently has a large plastic problem and a huge reliance on the material to package bikes, components and clothing. This year, both Trek and Cannondale have begun to explore other options for packaging their bikes. They believe a change would not only help the environment, but can be better for bike shops and customers.
Cannondale's solution to the plastic problem involves using FSC-Certified cardboard with natural, plant-based inks and biodegradable fiber-reinforced paper tape. Cannondale estimate that their old packaging produced around 20 liters of landfill waste as most of the packaging was not recyclable.
Trek has not quite ditched all their plastics yet, but have plans to go entirely plastic-free eventually. Currently, Trek was able to reduce the number of non-recyclable parts down from 22 to 12 on their Marlin hardtail and for 2021, they hope to get this number down to just 2.
Both Cannondale and Trek are testing out the new packaging on limited models in their range with the aim to expand further in the future. Trek's Packaging Before and After:Before:After:
In addition to updating their packaging, Trek has recently launched a campaign to educate customers and retailers on how they can safely and effectively dispose of the packaging. They believe that education also plays a big role in minimising the environmental impact of packaging.
To help with this issue, Trek has released a detailed guide on how to deal with their packaging here
and they are set to release a sustainability report later this year.
Just by making the switch to a more sustainable packaging on their Marlin hardtail, Trek will save almost 23,000 kilograms from landfill. This makes you think how much plastic could be saved from landfills if the entire cycling industry introduced more recyclable packaging.