Wetsuit disposal produces more than 380 tonnes of non-biodegradable chemical-based waste every year.

University and leading British surf brand seek wetsuit recycler

A pioneering inventor is being sought to create recycled and recyclable wetsuits.

There are more than 500,000 surfers in the United Kingdom who, on average, will replace their wetsuits once every two years.

This produces more than 380 tonnes of non-biodegradable chemical-based waste every year – the equivalent of 30 double decker buses.

With this in mind, Finisterre and the University of Exeter’s Centre for ALternative MAterials and REmanufacturing Technologies (CALMARE) have created the innovative role of a full time ‘Wetsuit Recycler’.

The ultimate aim being ‘to make wetsuits from wetsuits,’ opening up closed loop manufacturing to the industry.

Tom Kay, Finisterre founder said: “There have been some great advances in eco wetsuits and the search for alternatives to petroleum based neoprene, but the real elephant in the room for the watersports industry is what to do with a wetsuit at the end of its functional life. It’s a massive, global problem that we need to address; in this day and age there has to be a solution, and this is what we’re committed to finding.”

Paul McCutchion, Commercial Manager of CALMARE said: “This role could shape the future of wetsuit design and has the potential of bringing real positive change on a large scale. It is a fantastic opportunity that will bridge the gap between research and business within the surfing industry, while addressing a pressing environmental problem.”

This role is part of a two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between the University of Exeter & Finisterre, and is co funded by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK. The job will be based in Wheal Kitty, St. Agnes, Cornwall within Finisterre’s Workshop.

The successful candidate will work within the Finisterre team and under the guidance of Professor Oana Ghita of the University of Exeter.

For more information, visit the job vacancy or Finisterre’s website.

Date: 1 August 2017

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