Friday, September 21, 2007

Speaking of PVC . . .

. . . I was impressed by Mountain Equipment Coop's work on alternatives to PVC-foam in flotation vests. I particularly like their willingness to share.

The first MEC-brand PFD that uses PVC-free foam took a year and a half to reach production. As the first PFD manufacturer to use cross-linked PE (polyethylene) foam, we invested considerable time and money to get it approved for use. The foam meets all UL and ULC testing standards and exceeds many of them. It's lighter, more buoyant, better aging, and, best of all, doesn't require the same problematic chemicals in manufacture, produces no dioxins if burnt, and is easier to recycle than PVC foams. We think the benefits are such a good thing that we've made it available to any other manufacturer who wants to use it.

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