Currently over three billion petroleum-based flip-flops are produced worldwide every year, with most ending up either in landfills or circulating the ocean currents as pollution.
A professor from UC San Diego and his students have develop bio gradable sandals made from freshly harvested algae oil. Like. petroleum (formed from ancient algae), both can be formulated to make hard and soft foams, but the former can be broken down more easily. Initially they worked to make a bio-degradable foam surfboard from algae oil however, had to compromise and settle for a mixture of petroleum and algae oil to satisfy surfer’s expectations.
After considerable research the team came up with what they believe are both durable wearing and bio-degradable sandals made from only algae oil. The prototype flip flops are made of bright-blue foam, with a leather strap and the university’s triton logo. Plans to market the product are underway and the hope is the new flipflops will be available in the next twelve months. Initial cost will be higher than current brands but hope the price premium will reduce as the production scale is fine-tune and up scaled.