At Interbike last week, Giro unveiled a new environmentally conscious urban helmet. When the Silo gets damaged or is ready for replacement, simply disassemble the components then either throw them in the recycle bin or compost heap.
Much like other disposable products, bike helmets have a limited life span. For those of us that own a variety of helmets, it can be hard to accept that these will eventually end up in a landfill somewhere. Recycling helmets is not only labor intensive, but many helmet brands inject foam in their helmets with a plastic or nylon matrix that is impossible to separate out for recycling.
With the new Silo, Giro evaluated every component of an urban helmet to reduce its potential impact on the environment. The company turned to a new foam liner technology based around E-PLA, or Expanded Polylactic Acid. This bio-foam liner is derived from corn, with the potential to be made of grasses or other plant-based materials instead of the petroleum-based materials used in expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam conventionally found in bike helmets. The E-PLA foam makes less of an environmental impact while performing the same as EPS.
The low-profile design of the recyclable ABS plastic shell offer 8 vents to keep your head from overheating and the internal Fit Kit padding provides all day wearing comfort. The helmet strap webbing is made from coconut fiber, matching the compost potential of the biomass liner.
When the time comes to say goodbye to your helmet, the bio-foam liner and straps can be composted, and all other components can be recycled, minimizing the environmental impact of the urban helmet. A much better option than repurposing all your old helmets as planters, although that is pretty cool too.
Available early next year, the Giro Silo retails for $50.