Post-Consumer Waste Management Issues in Footwear Industry

Research Area:
Remanufacturing and Recycling


Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineering Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture

SMART Authors:
Shahin Rahimifard

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Currently, 17 billion pairs of shoes are produced 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 of in landfill sites around the world. The research reported in this paper is an intial investigation into realization of a holistic approach to application of 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-lfie waste produced, togther 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-consuemr shoes. 


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