Cooperation of SCUBAPRO and Ozeankind® e.V.
It is still hard to find the right words for – because our NGO has agreed to a great cooperation with SCUBAPRO! What exactly does this cooperation mean and how do SCUBAPRO and Ozeankind fit together? We will answer all the questions for you in this post and in the interview.
SCUBAPRO and Ozeankind® e.V.: the projects
SCUBAPRO is so impressed by our projects and our passion that the international manufacturer of diving equipment is going to support us from now on by …
• Providing equipment for project implementation.
• Sponsoring of garbage bags for clean-up actions.
• Support of Ozeankind® project communication.
• Purchase of Ozeankind® Plastikrebell® Recycling bracelets. • The bracelets made from recycled ghost nets, ropes and ropes are available here https://ozeankind-shop.de/
• Ozeankind® will also be integrated in special campaigns on fairs and events.
• Presentation & keynote by Ozeankind® on the annual SCUBAPRO Innovation Days.
More stunning projects and support to come …
1. With Scubapro Cares, you try to act as a role model when it comes to sustainability in the diving industry. Would you please share some more details on Scubapro Cares? What is this all about?
Since its foundation, SCUBAPRO is very much into ocean protection, so the start of SCUBAPRO Cares was pretty much the obviuos next step. With this project we are working on various focus points simultaneously,
We try to come up with more and more sustainable projects and we do our very best to use more environmental-friendly materials for our products. For instance we have been the first manufacturer who has introduced X-Foam-Neopren for some of our suits, back in 2012. In 2017 we have been first again -when we began to use of Aqua Alpha – a solvent-free glue. Since 2018 we use the technology of spundyed yarn – with the result that we need way less water and energy in the production process. Additionally – we use black carbon in our neoprene suits – made from recycled tires.
Plus – we are currently working on a more environmental-friendly product- and package design. However, this is not a one-day task – things like this cannot be solved from one day to another. We are definitely on a good way – one step after another – every day.
Last but not least, some of our regional offices regularly organize beach cleaning and fundraising-dives and provide targeted support to numerous organizations and ambassadors who are committed to protecting the environment – such as Ozeankind.
2. We have experienced that almost all the utensils a diver needs – fins, watches or UV shirts – are double and triple wrapped in unnecessary plastic foil. And as you can imagine, we have a little problem with that 🙂
What about you? What is Scubapro already doing here and what exactly do you want to improve in the future?
Yes. We are absolutely aware of that. That is why we are currently changing our complete packaging system and are getting a little bit better every day. Some examples:
All regulators, instruments and dive computers are already packed in recycled cartons. Some regulators are even supplied in a high-quality reusable textile softbox.
Furthermore, most of the plastic packaging has already been removed from the accessory products. Instead, they are now shipped in recycled cardboard packaging. Over the next few years, all plastic packaging will also be removed from spare parts. It is our goal is to become 100% plastic-free as quickly as possible.
Most of our masks are supplied in a reusable box that can be used for transport and storage. It is also perfect as a spare part and accessory box, e.g. for various small parts needed for diving.
The plastic bags for booties have been replaced by woven bags, which can also be used for transport and storage. A similar packaging for diving socks, gloves and hoods will follow this year.
Some of our fins are already available in reusable mesh bags. The packaging of the remaining fins is currently being converted to recycled boxes. Similar packaging for jackets and other products will follow.
These projects are already saving more than 16 tons of plastic per year. This corresponds to the weight of 12 VW Golf!
Generally, as a manufacturer, packaging is one of the most complex topics for us, as there are many different factors to consider: Economy, safety and handling, added value for the consumer (e.g. re-usability) and the selection of materials that are more compatible with the environment and at the same time cause no damage in other areas. For this reason, we cannot implement the changeover process with a single flick of the finger – even if we would like to. But we are working hard and in the near future we will see more and more SCUBAPRO products that are packaged in a more environmentally friendly way.
3. From our point of view, the entire diving industry – if manufacturers, dive centers or divers – should be absolute role models when it comes to the question of being kind to the ocean.
Nevertheless, we constantly notice that even in the world of diving there are still smaller and bigger environmental sinners, when we just think of some diving boats or diving instructors standing on corals, throwing waste into the sea … what do you think could be the reasons for this?
Unfortunately, you are right. From my point of view, there are two possible reasons. Reason 1: Personal ignorance. You can´t really change that. Reason 2: missing awareness. However, reason 2 is probably more relevant for cultures where the environmental awareness is not so common and especially not implemented in school systems.
The good news is that in my personal environment, private as well as professional, I can experience every day that people start to rethink and sensitize themselves to the plastic problem – and change their consumption and behavior accordingly. Many manufacturers have also recognized the problem and are working on it, e.g. to the packaging-design. Social media help to draw attention to the plastic waste with all those terrible pictures and videos. I am sure that in a few years it will look quite different in our world – in a positive sense.
4. Unfortunately there is no proper waste management system in those places where most of us go diving. What do you think diving centers in particular could or should do to be role models, to be a good example?
In any case the basic awareness should be promoted in daily diving school operations. For anyone who is learning to dive, plastic avoidance, environmental protection and diving should be inextricably linked with each other. This includes, for example, regular information on sustainable behavior towards the ocean and the environment, e.g. that nothing but waste is taken from the sea and nothing should be thrown into it, and that this is also exemplified, sufficient garbage cans are set up and in briefings and discussions the problems of garbage are addressed again and again.
Dive centers could definitely talk to their guests at the first briefing or inform them by e-mail before their arrival, bring their attention to the eco-system and make them aware that we all need to work together. For instance a consistently separation of the garbage, people should not buy any products with plastic packaging at all in an ideal case, only buy the things they really need and ask the guests to take their plastic garbage, for example taking an empty sunscreen tube back home in order to dispose it there. Perhaps diving centers in specific regions could also join forces and set up a plastic recycling process on site or implement a “garbage collection boat” in a joint initiative.
Thus the dive centers could contribute to the long-term internalization of the problem with the guests, because we will implement the things we understand.
5. And what about you … what do you do yourself in your everyday life or also while being on vacation, in order to save disposable plastic at one or the other place?
I would like to give a team answer to this question, so I have asked my dear colleagues. These are some examples what the SCUBAPRO office team is doing privately:
- Using own drinking bottles, e.g. a TupperWare, and filling it with tap water
- Use glass bottles instead of plastic bottles.
- Do not buy goods packed in plastic, such as fruit, vegetables or meat.
- Do not use disposable plastic products such as bags, straws or cutlery.
Bringing own bags and boxes for shopping at the grocery store.
- Transport breads in boxes instead of foil.
- Use shampoo bars and make use of refillable cosmetic items.
- Avoid microplastics.
- Use reusable coffee to-go cups.
- Do not buy cheap/disposable fashion from artificial fibres, but place more emphasis on quality fashion from renewable raw materials (cotton, linen, silk, angora/cashmere/mohair – or at least a selection of materials from natural man-made fibre such as viscose, modal, tencel, lyocell). Attention can be paid to microplastics, which are washed out into our waters and thus reach our food chain.
- Avoidance of coffee capsule machines or at least use of organic varieties.
- On holiday and in daily life, e.g. while walking or going for a walk, collect rubbish and set a good example, hoping that other holidaymakers will register our actions.
- Sensitize your own children for the problem.
6. One last question: why does a huge company like Scubapro cooperate with the comparatively small Ozeankind® e.V.?
No matter if big or small. It´s the ideas and the engagement of the people behind the scenes what counts. And that’s when you convinced us! Besides, you embody exactly what we think is important – everyone can do something. To start with ourselves is an important step with an effect which should never be underestimated. We also support large projects, but we consider it extremely important to offer people opportunities and suggestions where they can directly do something themselves. 😊
Images: Tina Kopseel, Scubapro