Exploring the Various Methods of Shoe Waste Management
Author : Harjas Kaur
Lotus Valley International School, Gurugram
Footwear is mostly made up of a mixture of materials which makes it difficult to recycle them; as a result, disposed pairs of shoes stay in landfills for years and not only contribute to land pollution but also air pollution when the shoes are incinerated. The present study examines various methods of managing shoe waste. It initially states the impact of shoe waste on the environment. Further, it describes the problem, which is the inability to recycle shoe waste. Ancient shoe-making practices and 3-D printing of shoes explored are methods that can be adopted in the production of shoes; Nike Move to Zero and Indian startups, namely, Thaely and Greensole, are a few examples of how shoe waste can be treated as well as incorporated back into the production process. The study was able to identify, first, the ancient shoe-making practices that can be used in place of unsustainable contemporary or legacy shoe-making; second, the availability of sustainable shoes provided by companies like Greensole and Thaely- which consumers can look at as an option to swap from the non-recyclable shoes. 3-D printing is an emerging technology that can be used to manufacture fully recyclable footwear- which can go back to its elemental after its end-of-life.