Stepping into Sustainability: The Impact of Biopolymers in Plasting Molding for Footwear

Stepping into Sustainability: The Impact of Biopolymers in Plasting Molding for Footwear

Like the entire fashion system, the footwear industry is increasingly moving towards an eco-friendly production process to reduce environmental impact and meet sustainability challenges. Let’s explore what new biopolymers are and how they can be integrated into the creation of a shoe sole.

Many fashion brands are transitioning to a more eco-friendly approach to minimize their environmental footprint and cater to the growing demand from consumers for sustainable products. The footwear industry is also aligning itself with these needs and adapting to new trends, with the goal of transforming its processes and business models into a more sustainable practices.

A Definition: Not Bioplastic, But Bioplastics

Firstly, let’s provide a brief overview of what bioplastics are. As defined by European Bioplastics, the term bioplastics refers to a type of plastic that can be biodegradable, bio-based or possess both features. This description encompasses a broad family of polymers categorized into various types.

To be more precise, bioplastics can:

– Originate (partially or entirely) from biomass and not be biodegradable (e.g., bio-PE, bio-PP, bio-PET);

– Originate (partially or entirely) from biomass and be biodegradable (e.g., PLA, PHA, PHB, starch-based plastics);

– Entirely originate from non-renewable raw materials and be biodegradable (e.g., PBAT, PCL, PBS).

Bioplastics are classified based on their production and recycling process. Two main polymer categories are generally used: bio-based plastics and biodegradable plastics.

Bio-Based and Biodegradable Plastics

Bio-based plastics consist of materials whose components come entirely or partially from renewable and plant-based raw materials. These materials include biopolymers created from biomass, primarily composed of sugars (sugar cane), starches (corn, wheat, sweet potatoes), cellulose, algae, vegetable oils, and more. This category includes materials mainly used in food packaging and textile fibers.

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