A guilt-free flip-flop
The humble flip-flop is the world’s most popular shoe.
About 3 billion new pairs of these little plastic sandals are made globally every year. Eventually, they wind up as non-biodegradable trash in landfills, rivers and oceans.
It’s a surprisingly big environmental footprint for something that seems so inconsequential.
“One of the largest pollutants in the ocean is polyurethane from flip-flops and other shoes that have been washed or thrown into rivers and flow into the ocean,” says Stephen Mayfield, a UC San Diego professor of biology.
Mayfield, along with chemist Skip Pomeroy and their students at UC San Diego, may have found a solution.