The textile industry’s figures are clear: of the 648 000 tons of textiles placed on the market each year in France, only 38% are collected for recycling.
The 10 proposals set out in this white paper (in French) seek to meet three objectives. The first consists of building the Extended Producer Responsibility approach around environmental benefits. The second is to support the development of a sustainable textile and footwear recycling industry. The last is to meet the legitimate expectations of transparency and traceability. The proposals aim to achieve these objectives in the context of the three key steps in a product’s lifecycle: (1) fabrication, (2) consumption, and (3) regeneration.
There can be no doubt that circular demand creates opportunities for circular supply. But how can closed loop criteria be integrated into public procurement, which represents nearly 14% of Europe's GDP? To figure it out, Renewable Matter interviewed Helena O'Rourke-Potocki and Simon Clement, respectively circular economy and procurement officer and senior coordinator on the circular economy at ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.
ICLEI is a global network working with more than 2 500 local and regional governments committed to driving local action towards a social and ecological transition. In future, whether purchasing services or products such as buildings, furniture and food, local authorities will need to look for increasingly sustainable supplies.
The widespread use of polyurethane foams in processing technology leads to high volumes of excess waste. Proper handling of this waste is of paramount importance for environmental, social, and economic reasons.
In order to reduce waste, our project aims to solve the mechanical recycling of closed-cell, rigid, cross-linked polyurethane foams. The rigid foam waste generated in our plant is subjected to a special grinding process. Grinds are mixed with a custom-formulated binder in a ratio of 70-30%, to produce upcycled polyurethane foam sheets.
During the research, we first identified the upcycling opportunities of closed-cell polyurethane foam materials and purchased the necessary machinery. Later, we started the production of polyurethane foam and finally developed the prototypes.
The Hungarian Ministry of Finance has approved a HUF 197.85 million non-refundable grant for Hutoepito, the parent company of KleanLabs, in order to fund research, development and innovation activities under the Upcycling of closed-cell rigid polyurethane foams project, which will run until 31 January 2025.
The Lithuanian Commune DIY, a team of skateboarding professionals and enthusiasts, collects old, broken Canadian maple hardwood skateboards that have lost their original purpose and recycles them 100 %. The new products made of skateboards are sustainable, strong and have a new life span which is longer than the one of an average skateboard deck.