Are Rubber Thongs A Sustainable Option As Your Footwear? See the 3 Incredible Facts
Want to get easy-to-wear and comfy footwear for this summer? Rubber thongs would come to your mind, right? No doubt, these flip-flops are very popular among all ages. As they are more casual and affordable for anyone, people simply choose them, even around the world. But a point to ponder is whether they’re as good for the environment as for you.
The sustainability of these rubber thongs has been a subject of debate. Because it’s crucial to consider of our choices, especially when it comes to seemingly insignificant items, i.e., footwear. This article aims to shed light on these simple yet stylish sandals in terms of comfort and eco-friendliness. So, let’s get started.
Understand About Rubber Thongs!
While sandals have been around for thousands of years and are thought to have originated as early as 1500 B.C. in ancient Egypt, the popular flip-flop sandal became widely recognized in the United States after World War II. American soldiers brought home the Japanese zori, a type of sandal that inspired the plastic flip-flops we are familiar with today.
Well! Rubber thongs, also known as flip-flops, are simple, slip-on sandals that feature a V-shaped strap that passes through the toes and holds the foot in place. These versatile shoes are made from a variety of materials, including synthetic rubbers, foam, or natural rubber derived from trees. The affordability, lightweight design, waterproof capacity, and ease of wearing make them a popular choice for casual and beachwear.
How to Determine Sustainability of Rubber Thongs
To understand the sustainability of rubber thongs, it is essential to examine the lifecycle of these products. Rubber thongs are typically made from synthetic rubber, derived from petroleum or natural rubber harvested from rubber trees.
The production of synthetic rubber involves the extraction and processing of crude oil, a non-renewable resource with significant environmental consequences.
On the other hand, natural rubber production relies on rubber tree plantations, which can lead to deforestation and habitat loss if not managed sustainably.
How much Manufacturing of Flip Flops Impact on Environment
The manufacturing process of rubber thongs involves several stages, including material extraction, processing, molding, and assembly.
Each of these stages has its own environmental impact. The extraction and processing of petroleum or natural rubber require energy and water, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution.
Additionally, the manufacturing process often involves the use of chemicals, such as adhesives and dyes, which can have harmful effects on the environment if not properly managed.
See the Environmental Concerns of Rubber Thongs
The most leading environmental impacts of rubber thongs are;
One of the significant concerns regarding rubber thongs is their durability. While they are inexpensive and lightweight, they tend to have a relatively short lifespan compared to other types of footwear.
The thin soles and straps of rubber thongs can wear out quickly, leading to frequent replacements. The short lifespan of rubber thongs contributes to increased waste generation and puts additional pressure on resource extraction and production processes.
When it comes to disposal, rubber thongs present another challenge. Most rubber thongs are not biodegradable and can persist in the environment for hundreds of years.
Improperly discarded rubber thongs can end up in landfills or oceans, adding to the global waste crisis and posing threats to marine life. However, it is worth noting that some brands have started to address this issue by offering recycling programs for old rubber thongs, repurposing them into new products or using them as a source for energy production.
The issue arises when we consider the environmental impact of non-recyclable footwear. Most traditional rubber thongs are not easily recyclable and end up in landfills or, worse, in our oceans.
The slow decomposition process of these shoes contributes to the already overwhelming problem of plastic pollution. As they break down, they release harmful microplastics into the environment, affecting marine life and ecosystems.
See the Sustainable Options of Rubber Thongs
Despite these concerns, there are aspects of rubber thongs that can be sustainable.
- Firstly, they are often produced using a relatively simple manufacturing process, requiring fewer resources and energy compared to more complex footwear options.
- Rubber thongs also have a lower carbon footprint compared to leather or synthetic alternatives like PVC.
- Additionally, rubber thongs are often produced in countries with strong labor laws and regulations, ensuring better working conditions for the workers involved in their production.
Moreover, the affordability of rubber thongs makes them accessible to a wide range of consumers. In developing countries and regions with hot climates, rubber thongs are a popular choice due to their breathability and low cost. In such cases, rubber thongs can serve as an alternative to walking barefoot, which can expose individuals to various health risks and injuries.
Takeaways for Sustainability of Rubber Thongs
In order to enhance the sustainability of rubber thongs, several measures can be taken.
- Manufacturers can explore the use of more sustainable materials, such as natural rubber from responsibly managed plantations or recycled rubber.
- Design improvements can also extend the lifespan of rubber thongs by using thicker and more durable soles and straps.
- Initiatives to promote responsible disposal and recycling of rubber thongs should be encouraged, including the establishment of collection points and recycling facilities.
- For worn-out rubber thongs that cannot be recycled or donated, it is important to dispose of them properly.
- Another promising alternative is the use of natural materials such as biodegradable rubber or sustainably sourced natural rubber. This approach ensures that the footwear will not accumulate in landfills or contribute to the pollution of our planet.
Most importantly, we need to rethink our routine purchases and consider not just what we can afford but what are the impacts of these products on the planet and people! That’s the point when rubber thongs come into play and provide a soft, comfortable, and sustainable option as footwear. Perfect for summer and spring with light clothing. Wear it while moving out or inside the house, even while bathing, with no hassle.