Biodegradable plastics have the potential to help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill but importantly they 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, TPU is durable, recyclable and biodegradable in 3 – 5 years.
The Billy Eco float uses biodegradable TPU applied to nylon. Typically Swim Tow Floats have been made with PVC applied to nylon, the Billy Eco15 is the first float to use TPU and is the first PVC free drybag.
What’s so bad about PVC?
PVC contains dangerous chemical additives, its production and disposal results in the release of toxic, chlorine-based chemicals. PVC is the least recyclable of all plastics because PVC items contain so many additives that recycling is largely impractical and expensive.
TPU has a much greener manufacturing process and management. Also during the Nylon 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!)
• UV resistant
• More 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. But 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. however this is a long way off and the collection of products made of combined materials perhaps even more so,
In the meantime we believe using biodegradable TPU is a positive step away from toxic PVC, it degrades much more quickly and is much more environmentally friendly in its production, use and disposal.
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 to make them even more sustainable.
The Billy Eco15 swim tow float is the UK’s first Eco-friendly PVC-free (drybag) swim tow float.
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All Statements and recommendations have been researched to the best of our ability.