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Monday, October 22, 2007

Recycled toe grips

Rafters Footwear plan to recycle plastic water bottles in the manufacture of their sandals. Bottled water has the largest impact on the environment in terms of single-serve drinks. Discarded water bottles harm the environment because the petroleum based material emits carbon dioxide. Plastic bottles are made of high-density polyethylene and polyethylene terephthalate, and the company convert the bottles by a process which involves chopping them into pellets, melting them down, then rolling them in strips of almost pure polyester. The material is dyed then used as toe webbing on the top part of the sandal. Using recycled materials does add cost to the product and add a further 40% to the production costs but the benefit to the environment is thought to outweigh any added retail costs. The sandals are also very comfortable. Asian shoe suppliers will start manufacturing the sandals this year and the raw material bottles come from Taiwan. Rafters are sold at 1,500 outlets, including Joe's, Bass Pro and Sports Authority.

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