Why we support the Single Use Plastics Project

Working with the Single Use Plastics Project, we’re on a mission to keep single use plastic out of landfills, and recycle it instead. It’s why you won’t see our products wrapped in polybags when you purchase at…

You asked, we delivered! Spurred on by feedback from the Montane community about unnecessary plastic with your orders, in September 2023 we began trialling the removal of polybags from products purchased on The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and since we started over 800kg of plastic has already been recycled!

The decision to remove these polybags is something we have worked closely with the Single Use Plastics Project (SUPP) to achieve. For those unfamiliar, the SUPP is an industry-wide project, backed by extensive research and dedicated to reducing the impact of single-use plastic packaging in the outdoor industry. 

Keep reading to learn more about why we support the removal and recycling of single use plastics, why we don’t support alternative plastic packaging, and the next steps of this project… 

The Story Behind the SUPP

The Single Use Plastics Project was set up in 2018 by the European Outdoor Group. This initiative was created to research the impact of plastic in the supply chain of outdoor clothing and equipment, ultimately aimed at driving meaningful change to improve this problem. 

Since its launch, over 45 other brands are now involved in the project, working collectively to deliver large-scale, industry-wide change. Motane became a member in 2019. Since then the SUPP has carried out extensive research with academics, researchers, sustainable packaging professionals and other experts right the way through the supply chain. They have looked in-depth at many potential solutions and material alternatives. 

Surprisingly, plastic is not the problem…

What the Single Use Plastics Project ultimately discovered was that plastic itself is not the problem. The problem is the linear system this plastic is part of, that single use plastic packaging supports. In this current system, the research revealed that the vast majority of plastic polybags are not recycled, as soft plastics are not commonly collected by local councils. Even when properly disposed of responsibly by the consumer, recycling rates are low and clear polybags are mixed with coloured soft plastics, reducing their versatility for re-use.

Research also revealed that alternative options, such as such as biodegradable, compostable, water-soluble, and bio-based materials, can simply shift, rather than mitigate, the environmental impact. For example, alternatives may not have an easily accessible recycling stream, or they may weigh more, in turn increasing emissions during transit. Recycled plastic reduces reliance on virgin resources, uses less energy during manufacture, and can be easily recycled if managed appropriately.

As a result the Single Use Plastics Project believes that this is a “systemic issue and not a materials issue — therefore, solutions should be systems-based and not materials-based.” For detailed insights into this research carried out and the alternate packaging options explored take a look at the SUPP’s extensive report online for full findings of the project.

So, what is the solution?

To combat the issue, the Single Use Plastics Project set about implementing an innovative new system for managing polybag waste. This involved the removal of polybags by retailers and brands, which are then collected and recycled by a waste management partner. As all polybags are clear and use LDPE (low-density polyethylene)  this recycling system avoids contamination from coloured or alternative types of soft plastic.

The system was tested globally by brand members, with feedback gathered from over 500 customers about their experience of receiving plastic free items. Significantly, no negative feedback was received and the regular removal and recycling of polybags consequently continued.

How we are managing single-use plastic waste

At Montane, everything we sell on our website arrives with us in 100% recycled polybags. We recognise that recycled plastic has an important value, namely by avoiding contamination during transit from overseas factories, to our warehouse in the UK. During this time products travel long distances and can often be handled roughly, as well as moving from areas of high humidity to the UK's colder, wetter environment. Polybags offer product protection during this time, which is less needed on the significantly shorter distances traveled from our warehouse to you! Protection during those longer journeys ultimately helps to prevent products from being damaged or soiled in transit, wasting the energy and resources that go into their manufacture.

Utilising the Single Use Plastics Project solution, we now take steps to remove this single-use plastic before we post your products. Polybags are then baled in our warehouse, ready for collection and recycling. By doing this we can ensure we keep this recycled plastic from ending up in landfills or being incinerated, enabling it to be made into new items.

Montane polybags ready to be recycled

Next steps

As members of the Single Use Plastics Project, we are actively exploring the next steps, such as removing adhesive strips to make polybags reuseable. Our ultimate goal is to further reduce single-use plastics from our supply chain. We will keep you updated with this progress.

If you have ordered from us recently and have feedback on our lack of plastic packaging, we’d love to hear from you! You can send your thoughts to