Biodegradable Overshoes

As part of Mace’s Time to Act campaign to reduce single use plastics on site, the Hanover Square project team procured oxo-biodegradable overshoes rather than the widely used non-biodegradable overshoes.

During fit-out and installation of permanent floor finishes, a significant number of overshoes can be used to access apartments or specific areas each day, creating a high volume of single-use plastic waste. Using an oxo-biodegradable alternative means the material biodegrades to CO2, water and humus within months and does not leave fragments of petro-polymers in the soil.

One of the benefits of oxo-biodegradable plastic is that it can be recycled as part of a normal plastic waste stream. However, if the plastic is not collected to be recycled, it needs to biodegrade instead of accumulating in the environment. This product is also suitable for ‘in-vessel’ composting at the higher temperatures required by the new EU animal by-products regulations.

If the overshoes are sent to landfill, the oxo-biodegradable plastics fragment and partially biodegrade to CO2 and water in the parts of the landfill where oxygen is present. Oxo plastics are designed so that they will not degrade deep in landfill and they will not therefore generate methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) in anaerobic conditions.

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