15 Mar OrthoLite And Novamont Create Circular Foam Material Solution For Use In Footwear
OrthoLite, the manufacturer of sustainable, performance and comfort insoles and footwear materials solutions, and Novamont, responsible for developing, producing, and eco-design of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics and biochemicals, entered into an exclusive partnership to create the OrthoLite Cirql, a circular foam material solution for footwear.
OrthoLite Cirql foam is a patented footwear material that combines OrthoLite’s foaming polymers and Novamont’s bio-based, compostable and recyclable polymers to reduce the impact of the manufacturing process with multiple end-of-life disposal options.
MIT’s recent Life Cycle Assessment states, “a typical pair of running shoes generates 14 kg/30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to running a 100-watt light bulb for a week. Every year, in the U.S., people throw away more than 300 million pairs of shoes, of which 95 percent end up in landfills.”
OrthoLite Cirql offers a plastic-free, scalable, and circular material to its 500-plus footwear brand partners and factory stakeholders in 2023.
OrthoLite sought out the high-tech bio-polymer company because of “Novamont’s pioneering activities in the field of the circular bio-economy and for its 30 years of experience in the development of chemical and biotechnological processes to create low-impact certified biodegradable and compostable solutions with multiple end of life options for everyday life, including packaging, separating organic waste collection, retail purchasing, disposable tableware, farming, lubricants, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and more.”
OrthoLite Cirql is “free from “forever chemicals” and responsibly sourced from non-GMO traditional vegetable raw materials derived from plants plus synthetic biodegradable materials. The material can be returned to the production cycle by low-energy, advanced chemical recycling to help keep materials in use or back to nature as fully compostable through selected industrial composting methods and processors. Using existing and new, closed loop, take back, recycling streams for footwear, scalable end-of-life management will involve collaboration with footwear brands and the waste management sector. OrthoLite Cirql will also help avoid the accumulation of persistent microplastics as particles will biodegrade similar to natural polymers such as cellulose.”
Novamont Research developed “a tailor-made bio-polymer material for OrthoLite Cirql’s chemical-free foaming process, which uses nitrogen (from the air we breathe) combined with renewable energy. Unlike the conventional foaming methods, no dangerous or toxic chemical additives are used to produce Cirql. The biopolymer pellets are melted and mixed with liquid nitrogen under extreme pressure in a unique injection molding process. This results in incredibly efficient cycle times that reduce energy consumption and create a finished part without downtime, polymerization or waste.”
“Certified as a B Corp in 2020 with a top-tier ranking, Novamont is a United Nations Global Compact network member, a leadership platform for developing and implementing responsible corporate policies and practices. OrthoLite Cirql marks the company’s debut in the footwear industry. The partners are bringing a global solution for environmental improvement across the global footwear industry, a market valued at around $400 billion.”