Ecopneus, Ideaplast and Agriglobal Services have launched an innovative product for animals’ wellbeing that combines high-level performances, quality, and sustainability made with recycled and recyclable materials
The partnership between livestock farming and the expertise of the shoe business has developed “CowShoes”. These are shoes specifically designed for cows made with recycled and recyclable materials that aim at correcting cows’ lameness. Indeed, this problem affects over 40% of cows and it is currently the third cause of financial loss for dairy cattle’s farmers.
Lameness causes impaired walking in cows, following a very painful stimulus that affects the rear feet of the animal. In particular, it affects cows’ external hoofs. Reduced wellbeing leads to a reduction in milk production, thus causing serious financial and management damage to farmers.
After one year of experimentation and testing, Ecopneus and Idea Plast have developed a cow shoe that can improve cows’ walking. It is made with recycled and recyclable materials. After seeing the very positive results of the tests, Agriglobal Services SCPA decided to market it starting from January 2023. Idea Plast is a company specialised in the production of recycled plastic materials and focuses on R&D. Agriglobal Services SCPA, instead, is a company that operates in livestock farming and is specialised in animals’ wellbeing.
Giorgio Pisano, the person in charge of market development of Ecopneus, stated: “Research is fundamental in the recycling business. The urge of ever greater product sustainability can be faced only by investing resources and putting great effort into finding new modalities of use for recycled materials. To maximise our effort, it is necessary to reduce the consumption of raw materials. Thanks to our commitment, in 2021 alone, 310 thousand tonnes of CO2 equivalent were not released into the environment. Moreover, 1.23 million m3 of water and 282 thousand tonnes of virgin raw materials were saved”.
“CowShoes” have been made in Tyreplast. Tyreplast is a compound of recyclable materials derived from plastics and End-of-Life Tyres. This compound allows to create innovative products that combine high-level performances with quality and sustainability.
Alessandro Trentini, founder and technical director of Idea Plast, commented: “We strongly believe in this project because it has put in contact sectors that probably would have never imagined to collaborate. Moreover, it represents an absolute novelty in Italy and confirms the central role of R&D for finding solutions capable of transforming a problem into an opportunity – with the added value of focusing on sustainability”.
Together with the “CowShoes” the project partners have presented also ElliptiCOW, self-locking mats made with recycled rubber for cow’s stables. Thanks to its perforated structure, it is possible to fill the mats with sand (at the bottom) and then hay. In this way, cows’ stables are more comfortable and drier. Thus, their beds are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This allows animals to better rest. Cows’ improved sleeping conditions increase their wellbeing and milk production. Moreover, the mats allow to keep their beds clean with less farmers’ work; they also assure high hygienic conditions and prevent mastitis, infections and damage to animals’ limbs.
Marina Chittolina of AgriGlobal Services SCPA explains: “Elliptcow is produced with 100% recycled material. It uses 55kg of granules from ELTs and polyurethane resins. On top of its environmental value, it also has a social value. The plant to produce the mat was designed bearing inclusiveness in mind, as it can be easily used by people with disabilities or belonging to disadvantaged categories.
Sustainability, Innovation and second life to Plastics. These are the pillars of Idea Plast. Open to state-of-the art solutions, constantly keeping up with change, it offers services of design, research and development and recycling of raw materials with 360° solutions within the scope of plastic products. Respectful of the environment and of the circular economy, Idea Plast has a green and dynamic soul and is ready to support companies in their journey towards sustainability.
Agri Global Services SCPA
Livestock farming equipment made with recycled rubber for animals’ wellbeing.