MOSCOW (MRC) -- German plastics group Covestro AG (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) and the Brazilian footwear manufacturer Calcados Beira Rio are jointly developing concept shoes with more sustainable material solutions, according to GV.
An elegant women's shoe and a comfortable casual shoe are used as examples to illustrate the variety of possibilities – from upper to lining, from sole to heel.
Both shoes feature Covestro products derived from alternative raw materials such as CO2, biomass and plastic waste. These are a valuable resource as they provide carbon that can be put to use beneficially in a circular economy, instead of being released into the atmosphere as waste gas, said the company. Covestro said it is pioneering the use of such raw materials to reduce its dependence on fossil materials and increase the sustainability of the value chain.
Together with Calcados Beira Rio, Covestro has developed this women's concept shoe in which various more sustainable material solutions have been implemented.
One example is the upper and inner lining of the two shoes. The base is a soft polyurethane foam that ensures a good fit and comfortable footfall. Here, a polyol was used that contains up to 20 % carbon dioxide and is marketed by Covestro under the name cardyon. The CO2 replaces some of the fossil raw materials previously used, but does not compromise the favourable properties of conventionally produced foam, said the company.
Two different types of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) are found in the outer soles of both women's shoes. One of them is also based on cardyon; while in the other, 60 % of the carbon content is derived from biomass. As a result, both products have a lower CO2 footprint than fossil-based TPU and help close the carbon cycle.
Covestro said it is also focusing on the recovery of plastic waste as part of its strategic programme to support the circular economy, and is working with partners to develop new value-adding cycles to achieve this. For example, used polycarbonate products are shredded, cleaned, possibly mixed with new plastic and reused as recycled Makrolon. In women's shoes, this lends lasting strength to the insole and heel.
As MRC informed previously, earlier this month, DSM completed the sale of the resins & functional materials businesses to Covestro for EUR1.6 billion (USD1.9 billion), including EUR1.4 billion in cash.
We remind that Covestro closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PC granules (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus) totalled 34,000 tonnes in the first four months of 2021, up by 11% year on year (30,500 tonnes a year earlier).
Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).