As we all know, every cycling helmet has a lifetime. Even though it has never been tested in any type of accident, prolonged exposure to the sun, coupled with factors such as body sweating and natural wear and tear, make the life of a helmet between three and five years.
But what to do with these helmets thrown in the trash, since its main raw material, Expanded Polystyrene foam takes at least 150 years to be degraded?
Aware of the problem, one of the world’s largest cycling helmet makers, Giro, has created Silo, the world’s first helmet built from a new type of recyclable and compostable foam made from vegetables.
Developed for urban use, the new Silo helmet replaces the traditional Expanded Polystyrene foam(EPS) by EPLA, a new type of foam derived from plants such as sugarcane and corn.
Although the material has already been used in other areas of the industry, it took a few years of research and development for the Silo Giro to reach its final form.
With impact-absorbing characteristics similar to helmets built in EPS, the Silo Giro, as well as all helmets from this manufacturer, has the safety certification of the CPSC(Consumer Product Safety Commission), the INMETRO of the United States.
The big difference between the Silo and the other helmets is the time of their’retirement’. The external structure, in ABS, is removable and recyclable, as are its cushions. The rods(made with coconut fiber) and the internal foam are not only recyclable but also biodegradable and their disposal culminates in the degradation of waste by bacteria and their subsequent transformation into organic compound.
According to Giro spokesman Mark Riedy, the development of the new Silo marks a new era in the manufacture of helmets for cycling. “The Silo is the first helmet made in EPLA, but not the last one. Our intention is to gradually increase its production to the detriment of EPS. However, this change should be made gradually, as it involves production challenges, “said Riedy on the occasion of the Silo Giro presentation at the Interbike fair.