Made from TPE – a copolymer of plastic and rubber – the beads used in Nike’s new cushioning sensation Joyride aren’t the harmful ‘microplastics’ often found in marine animals, according to Vanessa Garcia-Brito, Nike global VP of communications.
Following criticism regarding the beads’ potential environmental impact, the Swoosh have jumped on the front foot, addressing the tech’s sustainability cred.
‘[Microplastics] are defined by a certain length, size, or certain attributes around making a microplastic,’ says Garcia-Brito, speaking with Highsnobiety. ‘The beads themselves [don’t meet those specifications], so they would not fall within that category.’
Less than five millimetres in length, the beads won’t leak and eventually degrade into microplastics, according to Nike. Garcia-Brito also stresses they’re 100 per cent recyclable.
‘They can be turned into something else. They can be transformed into, reworked into another product.’