At the end of almost any products useful life, it has to be disposed of in some way. How this is carried out can have a significant impact on the environment.
Biodegradable plastics can help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and also have the potential to be better for the environment in the way they are manufactured.
Biodegradable TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) is an advanced material that is much more environmentally friendly than alternatives such as PVC, which contain toxic chemicals; TPU is recyclable and biodegradable in 3 – 5 years in soil.
The Billy Eco float uses biodegradable TPU applied to nylon, which is recyclable.
The process used to make the material is more eco-friendly. During the lamination process, solvents are not used which is better for the natural environment.
The Advantages of TPU
Besides its manufacturing process, TPU also has some significant advantages over PVC including:
• Greater flexibility and excellent strength
• Lighter weight
• Abrasion resistant
• Resistance to oil and solvents
• Resistant to ageing and cracking (unlike the rest of us!)
• Excellent quality
• UV resistant
• Recyclable and sustainable
All great properties for a swim float.
Due to these advantages and qualities, TPU is already used widely in the manufacturing of various products such as snow gear, life-jackets, coats, air-beds, sports equipment and medical products to name a few. Of course, being such a quality material means that it is a bit more expensive than the alternatives.
Bio-degradability, waste and the carbon footprint.
There are lots of arguments and counter-arguments surrounding bio-degradability, waste and the carbon footprint. The majority of waste management infrastructure currently recycles regular plastic waste, incinerates it, or places it in a landfill, yet none of these is sustainable. One answer is for waste management companies or councils to start collecting bio-degradable plastics with other similar waste for industrial composting. It would surely make economic sense and be much more sustainable.
In the meantime biodegradable TPU is the future, it could replace regular TPU and PVC as a type of plastic that degrades much more quickly and is more environmentally friendly to make.
By the time items currently made of Bio-TPU get to the end of their useful life as a product hopefully, the waste infrastructure will be in a much better place to handle biodegradable products.
Puffin Swim are passionate about making a tow float as eco-friendly as possible. We are enthusiastic about leading the way by investing and working with our manufacturer testing new advanced materials to make it even more biodegradable or sustainable.
The Billy Eco15 swim tow float is the UK’s first Eco-friendly PVC free swim tow float.
Design products to inspire swimming and adventure.
Use business to raise awareness of environmental issues.
All Statements and recommendations have been researched to the best of our ability.