End-of-life Management Considerations in the Footwear Industry

Research Area:
Remanufacturing and Recycling


Book chapter in Global Footwear Industry and Emerging Trends

SMART Authors:
Shahin Rahimifard

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Currently, more than 19 billion pairs of shoes are consumed worldwide every year, and this figure continues to rise. This creates an enormous amount of post-consumer (end-of-life) shoe waste that is currently being disposed in landfill sites around the world. The research reported in this working paper is an initial investigation in realisation of a holistic approach to application of product recovery and recycling in the footwear industry. The paper provides a brief review of the trends in the footwear sector regarding the amount of end-of-life waste produced together with existing reuse and recycling activities. It also presents an integrated waste management framework by combining a mix of design and material improvements as well as reuse, recycling and energy recovery activities and concludes by examining the challenges in establishing end-of-life product recovery procedures for post-consumer shoes.

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