Leave it to a Canadian entrepreneur to solve a problem that has plagued hockey for as long as the game has been played. ‘Bio-Jock’, a new line of single use, compostable hockey pads, is being developed by Vancouver businessman Ian Schraeker with the assistance of the UBC Sports Medicine Clinic and Solid Waste Services of Metro Vancouver.
“The stinky hockey bag is an unfortunate icon of our culture,” Schraeker says, “We are going to change all that. We now have the technology to make hockey protective gear as biodegradable as paper towels.”
Initial prototypes use waste material from sugar cane production called ‘bagasse’. It’s moisture-wicking, renewable, and has a shock-absorption rating to match that of closed-cell urethane foam. Schraeker says testing in simulated game collision modelling should be completed at UBC this month. Composting tests are also underway with the ‘used’ equipment at Metro Vancouver’s compost test facility.
So when will these pads be ready to cut the locker room funk at a local arena near you?
“We’re starting with the smallest, but most critical piece of gear,” Schraeker says, “The jock contributes more molecular stank per gram than any other piece of hockey equipment. So we plan to be into complete manufacturing of those by April 1st 2016. But until testing is complete, we don’t recommend anyone try composting these at home. You wouldn’t want to grow carrots from that dirt.”
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