A Decision Making Model for Waste Management in Footwear Industry

Research Area:
Remanufacturing and Recycling


International Journal of Production Research

SMART Authors:
Shahin Rahimifard

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The footwear industry, over the last years, has placed significant effort in improving energy and material efficiency, but in comparison little effort has been directed at the recovery and recycling of shoes at the end of their funtional life. In reality, most worn and discarded (end-of-life) shoes are disposed of in landfills. Producer responsibility issues and forthcoming legislation as well as increasing environmental consumer demands are expected to challenge the way the global footwear industry deal with its end-of-life waste. This paper presents an investigation into the steps required to consider the end-of-life implication of shoes and promote post-consumer recycling practices in the footwear industry. The paper describes the design and specification of a decision-making model to identifiy the most appropriate reuse, recovery and recycling option for post-consumer shoes. Such a tool in addition to supporting design and material selection processes could also provide benchmark information for the selection of a best end-of-life practice for a selected range of shoe types. The paper concludes by providing a case study for shoe wast managemene to demonstrate the practicality of this decision-making model. 

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