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South Australian youngster starts eco-friendly surf wax company
Supplied: Facebook/Sticky Pronk12-year-old Noah Pronk has begun an eco-friendly surf wax company to combat chemicals and microplatics in the ocean.A young South Australian is tackling microplastics and chemicals in the ocean with an eco-friendly surf wax company that he designed for a school project.
Sticky Pronk began when 12-year-old St Leonards Primary School student Noah Pronk was assigned a school project to start a business with $20.
While searching for business ideas, the avid swimmer, West Beach Surf Lifesaving Club under 13s member, and of course, surfer, realised most surf wax brands have chemicals and plastics in their ingredient lists.
There was only one brand, based in Queensland, which he found to be environmentally friendly.
So I thought Id do something about it, Noah said.
I did some research into how to make it, to see how hard it was, then a recipe came up and I started experimenting.
Surf waxes are toxic and its filled with chemicals, and its not good for the fish. They are swimming in the sea with the plastics in it, then we eat them, so were pretty much eating plastic, and I wanted to solve that I didnt want to be eating plastic.
Noahs recipe for eco-friendly business success is simple: a blend of locally-sourced Kangaroo Island beeswax and coconut oil, which he says works just as well as other surf wax products.
The young entrepreneur said while starting the business has been hard, were getting there eventually, and its going well.
A visit to the Sticky Pronk social media accounts shows a swell of praise for the youngster, who admits that the public response has been amazing.
Weve had a lot of surfers comment to say good luck, great work, he said.
None of them knew that other waxes had chemicals in them.
Noahs proud mum Heather Pronk said her son was responsible for all aspects of the business.
She only helps out with his social media promotion hes not old enough to have an account yet and deliveries.
The school assignment began in September and is part of the Foundation for Young Australians $20 Boss initiative, in which students are challenged to conceptualise, start and run a business with just $20 over the course of a school term.
Ms Pronk said the program was normally aimed at students in Years 8 to 10, two years older than Noah, who was in year six at his Glenelg North primary school this year.
I think its brilliant that hes carried on doing it, she said.
It was just a school project, so they didnt have to continue with it once the assignment was finished, but hes really enjoyed it.
Somebody shared one of his posts onto a surfing South Australia page and it just went crazy, so that was the week before Christmas, and it just sold out within minutes, and weve just had email after email requesting more.
Ms Pronk estimates her son has created about 200 blocks of the wax or a lot, as Noah emphasised so far, and waves of orders for more keep rolling in.
People are very understanding that hes just 12 and its school holidays and hes just doing as he can.
Somebody said to him oh youll have to get it mass produced and do this and Noah answered him and said no, I just do it myself at home, and thats it.
Noah is the only person who makes it, which is very good, so I just drive around to deliver it to the post office or deliver it, if its a local one. Other than that, hes pretty much doing it all himself.
And he has no plans to stop anytime soon: Im hoping to continue it if it keeps on going well.
Because surfing matters, as his self-designed business logo says.