UC San Diego researchers create world’s first biodegradable shoe
by: Clara Benitez
Posted: Sep 22, 2022 / 06:20 PM PDT
Updated: Sep 22, 2022 / 06:21 PM PDT
SAN DIEGO — Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have created the world’s first biodegradable shoe.
Blueview launched in April of this year after several years of researchers trying to make a material that would biodegrade in soil and in the ocean.
UC San Diego Biologist Stephen Mayfield and chemist Michael Bukart have now shown their polyurethane foams biodegrade in land and sea.
“Why not make plastic directly from algae,” said Stephen Mayfield, biologist at UCSD.
One of the reasons for the creation Mayfield says is because plastic pollution is now one of the world’s global environment crises.
“There are things called the garbage patches in the ocean, you guys have probably heard of those, these are in every ocean in the planet and some of them are enormous. There is one in the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas,” Mayfield said.
Right now, Blueview only has shoes but Mayfield says they are working on other products like sandals, phone cases and raincoats.
“There are lots of people who know that this is one of the biggest problems, biggest challenges we face on the planet. We are just the first group to actually get a plastic in a product that is a high-performance product and then demonstrates that it can biodegrade,” Mayfield said.
Mayfield says they are continuingly innovating, testing what other microorganisms can help speed up the process of biodegradation, to hopefully one day replace all conventional plastics with this material.
“The only way they are going to change is when consumers force them to change,” Mayfield said.
You can purchase Blueview footware online now.