Posted by Tom Fitz
Tom Fitz
Tom utilizes over eighteen years of manufacturing experience to help companies c
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on Tuesday, 29 November 2011
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Puma Gets Foot Up on Competition

Sports Apparel Manufacturer Looking to Compostable Merchandise

In 2007, the EPA reported there were 3091 active landfills and over 10,000 old municipal landfills in the U.S. They also estimated there were over 10,000 private landfills. We are all familiar with the harm landfills pose to the environment and human health, so why do companies continue to sell products that will ultimately end up in one?

Nike Grind

Great strides have been made in the footwear industry to recycle components of shoes and sneakers at their end of life. Industry leader Nike developed a recycling program that takes cloth from the top of the shoes, foam from the padding in the sole, and rubber from the sole to create a raw material dubbed "Nike Grind". In partnership with industry-leading surfacing companies, Nike converts the grind and other scrap generated during their manufacturing processes into innovative surfaces such as: - gym/weight room flooring – outdoor synthetic courts – running tracks – playground & safety surfaces – synthetic turf infill – indoor synthetic courts – indoor wood courts – carpet underlayment.

Puma's Compostable Vision

Another approach to ease the burden on landfills is being championed by Puma. They have been working in collaboration with several partners to create products that follow cradle-to-cradle principles. Some of their ideas are manufacturing and marketing compostable or recyclable shoes, T-shirts and bags. They will also explore making shirts and shoes that can be shredded and buried in the garden; or potentially using old shoes to make new ones or an alternate product such as car tires. All of these advances will help Puma attain their 2020 goal of eliminating all releases of hazardous chemicals from its entire product lifecycle and supply chain.

We've all heard of some creative approaches demonstrated by companies to minimize the amount of by-products being diverted to landfills each year; but they are still the exception rather than the norm. All companies need to better understand the environmental impacts created by the products they sell throughout their entire lifecycle. Not only will this enable them to implement appropriate countermeasures, but they'll also identify a multitude of opportunities to improve efficiencies and save money.