Most of us get at least a few seasons out of our trusty ski boots, and often will go to extreme lengths to make them last until the bitter end. Of course, when they’re done, they’re done, and that plastic has to go somewhere. Usually, they’ll end up in landfills or burned in waste-to-energy plants, but Tecnica has a new idea: what if that plastic came back into the manufacturing cycle to be used as secondary raw material.
“The idea is pretty simple,” explains Maurizio Priano, Marketing and Brand Manager Blizzard Tecnica. “We will make it possible for skiers to return their old ski boots of any brand to partner retailers, and then recycle them through a transparent and sustainable process.”
While it might sound simple, Tecnica’s Recycle Your Boots project is based on a complex and innovative process. Old boots need to be collected, transported and ultimately recycled, and the company is relying on a critical element for help: skiers themselves. Drop off your old or broken boots at a Tecnica retailer (in Europe only at this point), and the brand will take care of the rest.
The old ski boots will be collected by retailers and transported in small batches to reduce emissions. The Italian company Fecam will remove the liners and dismantle each boot to separate the plastic and metal components. All parts will then be transported to the nearby Laprima Plastics plant and transformed into secondary raw materials, such as plastic granules and recovered aluminum, ready to be recast and reused in industrial production. In addition, the liners will be shredded to make new padding.