Okabashi Classic Flip Flops ($19.99)
The humble flip flop can sit for 500+ years in a landfill once it leaves your foot.
And because they’re typically made of PVC, which leaches dioxin (among other things), these sandals can’t be recycled and end up sitting in the landfill for the 500+ years they take to decompose.
In fact, because it’s non-recyclable yet virtually indistinguishable from other, non-toxic plastics such as PET, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that 32 percent of the waste in landfills is made up of PVC containers and discarded packaging. Just one PVC bottle can render a batch of 1,000 PET bottles unsuitable for high-end recycling use, costing recyclers thousands of dollars and insurmountable damage to the planet.
But we digress. After all the bad news about our favorite summer staple, we were thrilled to discover Okabashi’s classic styles and closed-loop recycling process, in which customers are encouraged to send in their old flips that are then ground up to become new flops.
They look like every other flip flop on the beach, but Okabashi’s sandals average 15 to 25% recycled material in each pair and enable the company to reuse 100,000 pounds of scrap material in 2012 from their Georgia facility.
Suddenly, summer’s sunny again.