What's it all about?
Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) is a lightweight and flexible plastic that is often used as a shock-absorbing sole in running shoes and sneakers. EVA is very soft and it is often used without an additional solid outer sole in lightweight running shoes.
What is the problem?
The soft EVA provides comfortable cushioning, but at the same time causes shoe soles that do not have an additional solid outer sole made of rubber or natural rubber to wear out up to 14 times faster. The abrasion of shoe soles results in 109 grams of microplastic entering the environment per person and year in Germany alone (Fraunhofer UMSICHT 2017). In nature, microplastics do not degrade, attract toxins and enter our food chain (IUCN 2017).
What can I do?
Buy shoes with a solid outer sole. It is best to buy outsoles made of natural rubber. It is made from the latex of the rubber tree and is a natural product. However, rubber is not just rubber. The name is not protected, so it is not always obvious at first glance whether it is synthetic or natural rubber. For our LANGBRETT shoes, only pure natural rubber is used. The rubber is not completely vulcanised, so it degrades easily in the environment and no microplastics are generated. In addition, we do not mix the natural rubber with other materials. This means that the soles of LANGBRETT shoes can be recycled into new soles. Loop closed.