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  1. #1
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    A call to (eco) action

    So I need to get this off my chest.

    I've been in the industry for a little more than 30 years. For at least 25 of those, I have been in one Cannondale shop or another.

    This has nothing to do with the typical gripes, China vs USA, whether they should still make 29ers, fill in the b*tch blank.

    One thing that they have been consistent on, all along, was how they packaged, and shipped things.

    For a long, long time, they sent their bikes in boxes made of high quality, highly recyclable virgin pulp, you know, the nice, smooth earthy brown type. Both wheels were off and separated by a panel, and the frame packed it in such a way (literally suspended inside the box) that shipping damage was really reduced. These could be used to repack bikes for shipping. They stood up to several uses, and myself, as well as a number of other dealers, always held a stock of them for boxing and shipping customers bikes. Heck, even the frame wrapping was totally reusable many times, and all being cardboard, readily recyclable.

    All their back shop type parts, came in a recyclable/reusable plastic bag, stapled, with a thin, adhesive label with part #, description, etc. Simple, effective, space saving. Nice clean parts too.

    When they shipped a fork, it came in a Cannondale box. The fork box, was the shipping box.

    This was the way things have been for pretty much, that entire time.

    With the recent switch to all overseas manufacturing and the closing of the Bedford plant, they have implemented a number of changes.

    Every fork shipped? Now comes, nicely packed, inside another cardboard box. Sure it can be recycled, but why bother? Now the shop has another box to add to their recycling pile, and another tree got dropped so the fork boxes graphics could stay pretty?

    When a fork comes back from the factory tech room now, the box it was sent in with is gone, and a brand new blank one was used. Sure, they get ruined now and then in shipping, but this isn't that. More waste, but at least it's recyclable waste, right?

    Every small part, now comes with a folded over, cardboard hang tag, for display purposes. Pointless, as 98% will never see a customers hands, and the ones that do, it's simply packaging to be removed and discarded, same as before, only now there's more of it. This has zero added value beyond having their logo seen for a split second. The hang tag does have a nice little note though, by suggesting you recycle the packaging.

    I will likely have literally thousands of these pass through my hands this year. Is the expectation that I'll really go the extra mile than before, and separate out, break down, store, then recycle all that stuff?

    I know this is probably silly, but it was greener before, and it worked, so why do we need to change it now, just so the "branding" is stronger on parts that are only purchased by folks who already drank the Kool-Aid?

    Please tell me I'm not the one being unreasonable.......

    I hope this irritates enough of the rather outdoor minded, environmentally aware group that is the average bike companies customer base, that they share this, or write a letter, or chase down a rep at the store, or tell the demo crew their thoughts, it can't be a bad thing.

    Change is inevitable, but backsliding on the environment, in an industry like ours, at a time like this, is just plain wrong.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Flash29r's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    It has been a long time since I worked in a bike shop, but i know what you mean by the old packaging they used to use. I remember getting a couple of those boxes along with packaging back in 2000 when I moved from PA to UT. We put all of our stuff on a moving truck. I broke down all three bikes and packed them in the used boxes. They arrive safe and sound just like when the new bikes were shipped in them. There definitely is a lot of waste now for sure. I wouldn't say I am a tree hugger persae, but I hate to see wastefulness like this on how they package stuff these days. It is not just bike stuff, but everything. I fully understand where you are going with this post and I agree with you.
    '12 Flash 29r C3 with a few mods
    '10 Synapse 5 Carbon with a few mods as well..

  3. #3
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
    Reputation: MendonCycleSmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Hey thanks.

    Yeah, I'm likely yelling at a thunderstorm here, but good to know someone gets it.

    Perfectly functional system, that could even perhaps have been tweaked to be a little less wasteful if they really wanted to "be green" about it, and yet they go 180 degrees opposite, and start creating more waste.

    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CactusJackSlade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Agree 100%.... and don't get me going on wasteful packaging, every time I go into Costco I about go mad!
    Largest NorCal XC Race Series
    Best in the West!

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