Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is one of the most widely used plastics worldwide. A water-resistant and economical material, PVC footwear acts as effective protection from a range of chemicals, oils, and acids. Because of this, many of our gumboots at Neptun Boot are made from PVC to provide reliable footwear such as agricultural gumboots, heavy-duty mining gumboots, and general-purpose gumboots.
We are dedicated to responsibly recycling our PVC gumboots with our Cradle to the Grave Policy. This policy aims to combat the harmful effects of plastic waste, as well as keep product costs down for our entry-level markets, ensuring that we offer the best product for an affordable price while also taking care to manufacture that product responsibly.
Our Cradle to the Grave Policy works in partnership with the mining sector, whereby new gumboots are supplied to mineworkers while old gumboots are returned to us and collected by an approved recycler for recycling. The old gumboots are washed and granulated using mechanical recycling. This involves mechanically treating the waste (e.g. grinding) to reduce it into smaller particles. The resulting granules can be melted and remoulded into different products. These recycled granules are returned to Neptun Boot, where we melt them down and use them in a blend for production of our general-purpose black gumboots.
Recycling PVC has many benefits, both environmental and social.
Some of the benefits of our recycling policy include:
Did you know that plastic can take between 500 to 1,000 years to break down? That means that much of the plastic products we consume in our lifetime will still be around centuries into the future. A lot of unrecycled plastics end up in landfills, and because plastic products take so long to break down, those unrecycled plastics take up valuable landfill space and stay in the solid waste stream.
By utilising recycled materials from old gumboots, we ensure that those gumboots are being reused in a responsible manner, rather than ending up in landfills and taking up valuable space. For every ton of plastic that is recycled, 6,4 meters of landfill space is conserved.
Not only does recycling PVC reduce the amount of plastic waste that is burnt (releasing harmful fumes into the air) – recycled PVC also conserves energy. Virgin PVC requires around 85% more energy to produce than recycled PVC, meaning that the environmental costs of production are also reduced when using recycled PVC.
90% of ocean waste is made of plastic which is extremely harmful to the ocean ecosystem. Many ocean animals are killed or harmed by plastic waste. By recycling old boots, we play a small part in keeping plastics out of the ocean.
At Neptun Boot, we believe that it is important to consider our environmental impact and produce our PVC gumboots responsibly. We are proud of our Cradle to the Grave Policy and intend to extend it in the future to include not only the mining sector but the commercial and agricultural sectors too.