Packaging and Limiting Waste

We live in a world that consumes products at an unsustainable rate. Many factors contribute to this, but the use of single-use plastics in shipping and packaging is a major one. Does this frustrate you? It certainly frustrates us; reading statistics that quote the millions of plastic bags and single-use variants that end up in landfills and waterways is horrifying to us. Sometimes, we can become numb to these types of images and statistics as we see them more and more often, but emotional reactions can be good, especially when they motivate change. At Level Six, we are changing. 

Over the past few years, Level Six has made sustainability its number one priority. This issue takes many forms, including creating products that last, keeping products out of landfills, using more recycled materials, and eliminating single-use plastics from our supply chain.

               Right now, we want to focus on packaging, what we have achieved and where we fall short. No company is sustainable, but we are working hard to improve and, most importantly, be transparent about our environmental impact. Packaging is one of the quickest ways to limit our ecological footprint, as issues such as power supply or green energy are either unattainable or out of our hands. In the last few years, we are incredibly proud to say we have eliminated over 100,000 single-use plastic bags a year from our supply chain. We have done this by aggressively transitioning to alternative packaging, such as cardboard, and using recycled poly bags when that is impossible.

Ways we have cut back:

We have accomplished a lot with our packaging so far. All currently used poly bags are made from recycled plastic, all casual clothing is rolled and tied with fabric offcuts, eliminating the need for individual bags, and all non-latex items, such as layering and outerwear, are rolled in a cardboard sleeve. All dry gear and individually packed shipments use compostable cardboard boxes, recyclable paper wrapping, and a complete shift to recycled and recyclable plastic liners on individual shipments for protection from the elements. All ink on cardboard boxes is also biodegradable.

To Summarize:

-All current poly bags are made from recycled plastic.

-All casual clothing is rolled and tied with fabric offcuts.

-All non-latex items, outerwear, and layering are rolled and stored with a compostable cardboard sleeve.

-All dry gear uses compostable cardboard boxes with paper wrapping.

-SUPs are stored in compostable cardboard boxes.

-Individually packaging shipments are using recycled and recyclable plastic packaging.

-All ink on cardboard is biodegradable.

None of these changes are revolutionary, but they are what happens when you take the time to intentionally think about the impact of your packaging and how you can change that. It boggles the mind when we talk to other companies who do not do these things. The solutions are out there, and in many cases, they are cheaper than the plastic alternatives. The obvious cons are that biodegradable ink doesn't last as long, and cardboard can be blemished in shipment. For us, this is a more than fair trade-off to lessen our environmental impact. More importantly, we believe that the end consumer cares more about lessening their impact than if a cardboard box has an extra wrinkle in it.


Where are we still improving?

We are still working towards our goal to fully eliminate single-use plastics from our supply chain in several areas. We have successfully eliminated single-use plastic bags from our packaging of individual items. Still, we cannot get away from plastic liners on bulk shipments. These liners are either poly bags on our large shipping boxes' interior or saran wrap-around pallet shipments' exterior. Currently, no alternative is available to us that will protect our product if the shipment is exposed to the elements or delayed in shipping. We have the same issue with a plastic lining on our Inflatable SUPs to protect their printing during shipping. We must ask ourselves, what is worse for the environment, one poly bag or 40 products going to the landfill? The answer right now is one massive poly bag instead of 40 products or more damaged in transit. We, however, do our best to reuse the poly bags as warehouse garbage bags and saran wrap for other shipments. Ultimately, we would love to transition to biodegradable alternatives to our poly bags. Until now, the options we have looked into have degraded too quickly to guarantee a safe shipment if there is some delay in transit.


We are making significant efforts to switch completely to compostable and non-single-use packaging. We are optimistic that we have found a solution with recycled saran wrap and even coated paper options. We still need to experiment with them so that the future transition is smooth and that our products are not put in a landfill due to shipping damage. We strongly believe that this is one of the best ways to reduce our impact on the environments in which we play. This has allowed us to eliminate over 100,000 plastic bags going into landfills yearly. It may be small, but we are proud to make a difference and are excited for the day when we are completely plastic-free.

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