The Wetsuit Reuse Scheme

The Wetsuit Reuse Scheme

Lead Organisation: The Wave Project

Investment Priority: Supporting Local Business

Fund: Town, Rural and Coastal High Street Development and Skills Programme

SPF awarded: £116,640

Location: St Austell and Newquay

The Wave Project and waste-management company SUEZ are launching a pioneering scheme to recycle Cornwall’s mountain of discarded wetsuits.

The innovative project aims to tackle the estimated 380 tonnes of non-recyclable neoprene dumped in UK landfills each year. With over 50% of this waste originating in Cornwall, the county has become a wetsuit graveyard.

Under the scheme, dedicated wetsuit recycling bins are placed at Cornwall Council household waste centres, managed by SUEZ. The discarded suits are collected and transported to a brand-new repair workshop in Newquay. Here, a team will clean, and if necessary, mend the wetsuits for resale at the charity’s high street store. Prices range from £20 – £60 – a fraction of the average £420 cost for a new wetsuit. Any wetsuits beyond repair will be upcycled into new products like bags, pillows and mats.

The pre-loved wetsuit scheme follows increasing urgency around solving the environmental crisis caused by fast fashion and throwaway culture. With clothing and textiles estimated to account for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, initiatives like this offer a blueprint for a more circular economy for specialist gear like wetsuits. If successful, The Wave Project and SUEZ hope to roll out similar programmes nationwide, preventing tonnes of non-recyclable waste from ending up in landfill or polluting the oceans.

All profits will fund The Wave Project’s programmes. Surf therapy especially has become an established and evidence-based form of therapeutic support for both mental and physical health.

For more infomation:

FB – @WaveProjectUK –

IG – @WaveProjectUK –

LinkedIn – @The Wave Project –

YouTube – @TheWaveProject421 –

Twitter – @WaveProject –


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