Monday 26th September 2016                 Change text size:

Activists Set Up Basecamp at Mammut HQ to Demand End to Toxic Chemical Use



toxic waste sign by eek the cat via flickr

More than 15 Greenpeace activists from six countries have today installed a conference table on the facade of Mammut’s headquarters in Seon, Switzerland to invite CEO, Rolf Schmid, to negotiate a commitment to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their supply chain and products.

The activists from Switzerland, France, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia have rigged an aerial camp on the building, while on the ground, an exhibition has been set up in front of the main entrance to show Mammut’s employees how hazardous PFC chemicals are.
Julia Bangerter, head of the Detox campaign at Greenpeace Switzerland, said “Over 130.000 outdoor enthusiasts from around the world have written to Mammut asking them to get rid of PFCs, and hundreds of Greenpeace volunteers have visited shops all over Europe and in Asia to demand change. However, they haven’t responded, so Greenpeace activists have brought a negotiating table to CEO Rolf Schmid to ask Mammut to become a true Detox leader in the outdoor industry and take responsibility for how their actions impact the environment and human health. PFCs have no place in nature, food or drinking water, and really don’t suit a company that claims to live ‘by and for nature’.”
On its website, Mammut promises to use PFCs ‘critically and only when absolutely necessary’.[1] A Greenpeace Germany product testing report released in January showed a high concentration of toxic, long-chain PFOAs in a pair of Mammut shoes and a backpack. Jackets, trousers, a sleeping bag and a rope by Mammut also contained PFCs. [2]
Many outdoor brands, like Mammut, have started switching from long chain to short chain PFCs, claiming that these are better alternatives. But recently, more than 200 scientists from 38 countries signed the ‘Madrid statement’ [3] which recommends avoiding the use of all PFCs — including short chain — for the production of consumer products, including textiles. In 2015, Greenpeace conducted expeditions to remote areas and found that PFCs are spread far and wide across the globe. They contaminate drinking water and have even been detected in human blood.
Other companies already manufacture top quality goods for outdoor activities without any PFCs. The Italian pro-climber David Bacci climbed two extremely challenging peaks — Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy in Patagonia — wearing clothes that contained no PFCs. The British brand, Pàramo, recently committed to banning all toxic chemicals from its entire line of clothing; proof of the fact that sophisticated technologies that don’t require PFCs already exist.
Greenpeace and countless outdoor fans are urging Mammut to assume a leading role in the outdoor industry. More than 50 companies around the globe are already implementing their Detox commitment.[4]

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