Adidas is trying to meet its environmental goals by introducing the first fully recyclable running shoe. Unlike previous running shoe models, this one will be made up entirely of one material.
The materials in older models makes units difficult to recycle. There are simply too many components in use. Adidas believes it can solve this problem by making the shoe out of one material.
While it took the company over 10 years to complete, the new shoe Futurecraft.Loop will be the first of its kind.
Most recycling centers struggle with multiple types of material. The differences in materials will usually result in jamming the machinery.
For example, different plastics will clog up the machinery, but this isn’t a problem when it is one type of material.
This is the main reason why such a small percentage of items are actually recyclable. Of course, finding a material that can be as stretchy as spandex but also allow your foot to breath like cotton isn’t easy.
Thermoplastic polyurethane is currently the main component of the new running shoes. Not only can it do everything a running shoe needs to, but it can change production techniques. Instead of using glue to connect different pieces together, heat is used to fuse the pieces.
Adidas Isn’t New To Recycling
While none of their prior shoes have been fully recyclable, it doesn’t mean they haven’t tried. Adidas and Parley have teamed up to create shoes out of recycled plastics. However since there are other materials involved, they are not fully recyclable like the Futurecraft.Loop.
Getting The Shoes Back Will Be Challenging
Getting customers to return their old running shoes will be the biggest challenge for Adidas. Unfortunately, most people do not recycle correctly or end up throwing everything into the garbage.
Look no further than how many plastic water bottles you find in a garbage can. In the case of these new shoes, customers will return them to the store for proper disposal.
How successful the new shoe is entirely depends on how many units the company can properly recycle.