Disposable items earn a poor reputation because they are typically made of non-biodegradable materials such as polypropylene (used to make shoe covers), polyethylene terephthalate (used to make plastic water bottles), and other thermoplastics. Such materials take a long time to decompose. They can cause waterways to get blocked, landfills to form, choke animals by getting trapped in their digestive system, and become a major pollutant for the environment. However, note that these undesirable environmental effects of using disposable items emerge when you decide to throw them away in the trash or flush them down the drain.
Instead, we recommend that you recycle your shoe covers to get better use out of them and save the environment at the same time!
It is time to recycle, reuse, and reduce by not throwing away your disposable shoe covers!
Recycling disposable shoe covers
Using disposable shoe covers is necessary for various professions across different industries, so it is not possible to abandon their use as a form of protective wear. However, you can be smart about recycling your shoe covers instead of throwing them in the bin when you no longer want to use them. Most plastic polymers can be purified at the molecular level to create plastic pellets that may be used to make new plastic items. Soft and flexible polypropylene, which is used to make our shoe covers, can be recycled to make the following items:
- Decorative ornamental pieces
- Edging for your lawn
- Water bottles
- Compost bins
On a micro level, if your shoe covers are worn out and dirty, then you can use them as a rag around the house for dusting and keeping your kitchen clean. Unlike more rigid polypropylene forms, the material used to make shoe covers is incredibly resistant to unpleasant odors and smells. If your shoe cover does not have any tears, you can wash it and use it as a storage container for items such as earrings, studs, thumb pins, hair clips, and rubber bands. Shoe covers are a flexible storage medium that is particularly useful when you are travelling and you want to pack light!
How to recycle Propylene?
Recycling propylene has considerable potential as long as the following processes are involved:
- Cleaning & filtering
- Creating new items!
It may not be possible for you to perform these expensive and technical processes at home or at a domestic level, but there are several local recycling departments and industries whose business model is based on recycling propylene. Their goal is to create plastic with ‘virgin-like utility’. They gather propylene waste products, divide them into similar groups based on molecular composition, and melt them together at 2,400 degrees Celsius. Once the propylene has cooled down, it is cut up into tiny pellets and transformed into new products!
Who knows, it might even be used to make new disposable shoe covers!
By recycling disposable shoe covers, you are doing a generous favor to the environment.
Don’t throw away your shoe covers! Help local departments and industries recycle propylene to create new and useful products.