2023 MPA Nominee –
Gear Tips Recycling Program
A collection and disposal system for a mountaineer’s empty gas cartridges
In Brazil, more than 1,800,000 gas cartridges are sold annually for use in stoves during outdoor activities. Among users, doubts about how and where to correctly dispose of these cartridges when empty are very common. Due to a lack of information and collection points, these cartridges are often disposed of in the common trash, without proper emptying, and thus end up in landfills or local dumps. The organisation Gear Tips created a system to properly collect and recycle cartridges, in an effort to promote sustainable waste management and disposal.
View of UIAA MPA Assessor
This is a nifty project that is building a circular approach for managing gas canisters, a hazardous waste disposed of by the outdoor sports community. Whilst the initiative supports outdoor people to help them dispose of empty gas cartridges, at a higher level, the project also contributes to instilling a change in the consumer mindset in the Brazilian outdoor community towards more sustainable choices and behaviour.
Vision, goals and aim of the project:
More details on the project + project status as per May 2023
In Brazil, more than 1,800,000 gas cartridges are sold annually for use in stoves during outdoor activities. Among users, doubts about how and where to correct disposal of these cartridges when empty are very common. Due to a lack of information and collection points, these cartridges are disposed of in the common trash, without proper emptying, and thus end up in landfills or local dumps. Gear Tips created a system in 2021 to properly collect and recycle the cartridges all under the umbrella of its Gear Tips Recycling Program.
The team created a specific collector to allow the correct disposal of gas cartridges used in outdoor activities. These collectors are currently available at 22 collection points including hiking/climbing centers and soon, national parks. In 2023 the aim is to expand to having 60 collection points and in 2024, 100. Therefore, investment is needed to build more collectors and structure the program.
Currently, Gear Tips has set up 22 collection points in Brazil. In order to grow, more collectors need to be built (average cost of U$ 250) and two dedicated persons employed to take care of the contact with recycling facilities, collection points, and end customers. Beyond the goals set for 2023 and 2024, focus on a national project with collectors in all national and state parks with camping sites by the end of 2025 is set.
In Brazil, ESG is just beginning. Even big corporations are struggling to do something that really makes a difference. Even though Gear Tips is a start-up focused on the generation of content for outdoor enthusiasts, it believes that environmental sustainability is fundamental. Therefore, even with limited resources, it decided to act. Gas cartridge manufacturers are not interested in solving the problem so Gear Tips is taking this at hand and investing part of its revenues on this project.
Due to the lack of investment in the project, reliance on mountaineering clubs, retailers and volunteers in national and state parks is key to keep the project running. An organized crowd funding should help to get more investment for the project.
Through avoiding of gas cartridges to end up in local landfills and dumps, a small revenue for the collection points can be generated, since the empty canisters can be sold to the recycling companies. Since 2021, a collaboration with a few National and State Parks has been started, where campsites are available and, therefore, people use stoves to cook. Gear Tips really believes that this project is important for the environment and for the mountaineering community, not just in Brazil but all around the world.
Brazilian Confederation of Mountaineering and Climbing
Please note that the content published in this article is courtesy of the Award nominee. The UIAA has made minor revisions to the original submission. To discover more about the UIAA Mountain Protection Award please click here.