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RETEX Panels: construction materials made from recycled waste

Retex image

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Estonia
City: 
Tallinn

Language for original content:

Project elaborated in partnership: 
No
Start/End date: 
01/2019
Ongoing: 
Yes
Description: 

Putting waste to use

The amount of clothing and household textiles bought each year in the EU has increased by 40% just in the past few decades, reaching an estimated 9.5 million tons of textile products or 19 kg per person. It is estimated that only 15% - 20% of the textiles disposed of are collected for reuse or recycling and about 80% of textile waste goes to landfills. Using proper mechanisms and programmes, up to 95% could be recycled.

RETEX products are the first ones on the market that utilise textile, plastic and rubber waste from the construction industry on a large scale. The panels are made of shredded textile waste that has been pressed and bonded together using a proprietary manufacturing process and are designed to replace various types of wood-based construction panels. According to the experiments, RETEX panels have proven to be stronger, longer-lasting and fully mould, water and fire-resistant. As well as being recyclable, the products are eco-friendly, with no pollutants or toxic chemicals used.

Products include the RETEX Panel, a strong load-bearing panel from textile fibres and proprietary composite material; RETEX SIP Panel, a sandwich panel made of a foam insulating layer with textile fibres between two RETEX Panels; and RETEX EcoTile, a conglomerate material of textile fibres, plastic and shredded tyre rubber mixed with glue that can be used for paving pavements and other surfaces.

Main results: 
  • RETEX aims to sell over 1 million cubic meters of panels within 5 years. This will require the reprocessing of over 300 000 tons of textile waste every year, equal to more than 10% of the total waste generated Europe-wide.
  • RETEX will have a major impact on the textile waste problem in Europe as this waste is recycled for a useful purpose and not dumped into landfills or burned.
  • RETEX contributes to the EU's circular economy objectives by boosting the market for the use of secondary raw materials. It also reduces construction and demolition waste as the panels are recyclable and promotes the collection of textile waste.
  • RETEX aims to bring disruptive technologies to the construction materials industry and to encourage people to reduce, reuse and recycle.