Ethylene vinyl acetate

Here’s email exchange between myself and an environmentalist:

hi, i saw yeezy slip-on sandals that are made of “EVA foam” being marketed as environmental friendly – then googled and got this information (the sneakers shown above sell for $1099.00..

EVA foam (Ethylene vinyl acetate) is considered eco-friendly because it is BPA free and does not contain chlorides, heavy metals, phenols, latex and other toxic substances. It is a safer alternative to products that use PVC foams which often carry BPA. It is also recyclable and reusable rather than having to throw away any wasted product. EVA is commonly used in every day products like baby teethers, footwear, packaging and many other different applications.

do those of you involved w/ recycling agree that EVA foam is great stuff?

Hi Sharon,

This is Rose from the Old Stone Mill Center / BagShare.

Personally, I’m not too crazy about any of the materials derived from fracking. Ethylene is a by product of the fracking process. It may not be toxic on contact, but it is very much so for folks at the extraction and refining sites. Its extraction is also a heavy greenhouse gas polluter. Fracking leaks and vents a LOT of methane which is 100 times more potent a greenhouse gas per unit than CO2 is.

If it’s reused without having to be melted back down, then it’s keeping already manufactured product our of the waste stream – which is a good thing. But even when it gets recycled (aka melted down and reformed into another product), that’s producing a large amount of emissions from the process and toxic by-product.

So – long story short – if you can take the material as is out of the waste stream and form it into something else – that’s great.
If you’re buying virgin material because they say it’s not toxic, then a long, hard look at what that definition means isn’t a bad idea. It has a heavy climate impact.


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