The PLUS compounds and PLUSfoam® we use in a selection of our flips are 100% recyclable. More typical materials like rubber, EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) and PU (polyurethane) foams traditionally used in footwear are not currently 100% recyclable. To “reuse” these materials, you have to chop them up and feed up to 30% of that “regrind” into the virgin batch of material (a higher percentage of recycled content compromises product function). Therefore, typical production scrap can account for 30-40% waste by volume when common footwear materials are used. Unlike PLUS materials, this waste ends up in the landfill or incinerator.

PLUSfoam Product Performance Benefits
• Great cushioning and rebound for exceptional comfort
• Excellent traction on both wet and dry surfaces (rocks, boat decks, etc.)
• Resists moisture and bacterial growth so they won’t stink

PLUSfoam Environmental Benefits
• Landfill-free alternative to traditional foams and rubber (100% recyclable)
• Reclaim process generates limited carbon output

Recycling
PLUS simply collects the reclaimable materials from both the consumer and the manufacturing process then cleans them thoroughly by washing or screening. PLUS grinds up the materials into medium-sized scrap generally about two-square inch pieces. The company puts these materials back through its basic processing methods to reform new sheets of foam – adding in more foaming agent and cure agent only. In another process, the ground-up scrap is placed under heat and pressure only – no glue or any other substance is added. This creates sheets that can be cut and formed just like normal foam for new flips, midsoles, flooring, etc.

PLUS compounds can be recycled again and again as long as it is kept in a “clean” form and clear of other materials such as outsole rubber or upper shoe materials. When these materials are introduced into the reclaim mix – PLUS is well prepared to “down cycle” these batches into things like decking materials, park benches, paint brush handles and floor tile pads.

Reclaim Process – Recycling Your Flips
You can drop off you PLUSfoam flips in any Patagonia Common Threads Recycling Bin or send directly to:

PLUSfoam Reclaim Center
844 Production Place
Newport Beach, CA 92663
PLUSfoam.com/reclaim

For free return shipping, go to www.plusfoam.com/patagonia.

About the Author