Waste to Waves Creates Surfboards out of Recycled Polystyrene Foam


Based in California, Sustainable Surf is a non-profit charity working to raise awareness of the need for ocean protection among the surfing community.Through this organization, co-founders Michael Stewart and Kevin Whilden developed the Waste to Waves program in which they recycle polystyrene foam packaging into brand new, top-of-the-line surfboards.

How it Works

Waste to Waves gathers used polystyrene foam from collection bins positioned outside of surf shops. The foam is delivered to a Waste to Waves partner, Marko Foam, which then uses a densifier to compress the material and form it in a solid brick of recycled foam.

Marko Foam ships the bricks to a raw materials processor to make a new recycled-content polystyrene bead, which Marko Foam buys back in order to create recycled Enviro-foam surfboard blanks. With the help of surfboard shapers, the blanks are easily formed into surfboards.

Success in Foam Recycling

According to Waste to Waves, it takes about twenty pounds of recycled polystyrene foam to create five surfboard blanks. Since the program began two years ago, Marko Foam has sold approximately 1,000 blanks to shapers and recycled over 40,000 pounds of foam.

Both Stewart and Whilden are strong advocates for the responsible disposal of foam packaging and they hope to significantly transform the surf industry by encouraging widespread use of their eco-friendly surfboards.