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Turning carbon emissions into running shoes
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:09.Nov.2021

Swiss sports brand On announces a move away from petroleum-based resources by creating a new foam material called CleanCloud, made using carbon emissions as a raw material. On is one of the first companies in the footwear industry to explore carbon emissions as a primary raw material for a shoe bottom unit, specifically EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) foam, which could also be used in other shoe parts and products in the future.


CleanCloud is the result of a partnership between On and innovative companies in biochemicals and plastics innovation, including LanzaTech and Borealis. LanzaTech is using a combination of cuttingedge genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and innovations in mechanical and chemical engineering to manufacture chemicals using a process that soaks up carbon rather than emitting it.


Borealis is a leading provider of advanced, circular and renewable plastic solutions and important in creating high-performance, easy-to-process EVA foam for CleanCloud. This collaboration allows Borealis to further advance its journey in carbon and plastics circularity, and is in line with its EverMinds ambition.


“Innovation is at the heart of our brand, and after four years of intense research, we are very proud to announce this supply chain coalition with our world-class partners LanzaTech and Borealis,” commented Caspar Coppetti, Co-Founder and Executive Co-Chairman of On.


“By converting pollution to products, we can see that someday everything in our daily lives will come from recycled carbon. We are excited to be on this journey with On and Borealis to bend the carbon curve, keep our skies blue, and create a sustainable future for all,” shared Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech.


Lucrèce Foufopoulos, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins, Innovation & Circular Economy Solutions, added, “Borealis is thrilled to be part of the unique, first-of-its-kind CleanCloud initiative. With our creative partners On and Lanzatech, we are proud to co-create circularity in carbon, and decouple plastic from its reliance on fossil-feedstock.”


This is how it works: Technology from LanzaTech captures carbon monoxide emitted from industrial sources like steel mills or emissions from landfill sites before being released into the atmosphere. Once captured, these emissions enter a patented fermentation process.


Thanks to specially selected bacteria, the carbon rich gas ferments naturally and is converted to liquid ethanol by the bacteria. This natural fermentation process is similar to that of conventional alcohol production – beer brewing for example. The ethanol is then dehydrated to create ethylene, which is then polymerized by Borealis to become EVA (a copolymer of ethylene vinyl acetate) – the versatile and lightweight material that On starts working with to create a performance foam for shoes.


The overall goal is to exchange all bottom units from On shoes currently made from EVA with CleanCloud. This includes the whole Cloud range, THE ROGER franchise collection and a part of the active lifestyle assortment.



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