Ecomatters Joins the Consortium in a new H2020 Project Addressing the Recycling of Coated and Painted Textile and Plastic Materials
The EU-funded Project, in which Ecomatters is a key partner, held a kick-off meeting on 20-21 February 2019 at the EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium. The project consortium, led by Belgian R&D center CENTEXBEL, consists of 17 partners from across Europe from across the value chain including design, manufacturing, NGOs, and research and innovation.
The focus of the consortium is on coated and painted textiles and plastic materials which are not currently recyclable. Ambitious plastic recycling targets of 50% have been set by the European Plastics Industry, and to meet these targets, smart solutions to enable the circular use of textile and plastic parts with multi-layer coatings must be considered. Many materials consist of more than one chemical component, hindering their recyclability, such as coated and laminated products. Ideally, all the components of an object after its end-of-life should be separated and fed to the most suited recycling streams.
DECOAT has therefore been established to investigate triggerable smart polymer material systems and appropriate recycling processes. The solutions will be based on smart additives (like microcapsules or microwave triggered additives) for the ‘coating’ formulations that will be activated by a specific trigger (heat, humidity, microwave, chemical).
The bold aim of the four-year project is to decrease landfilling of ca. 75% of the coated parts considered in the DECOAT use cases, which cover clothing, electronic goods and automotive. A reduction in the carbon footprint by at least 30% for the considered products is aimed for. By enabling the recycling of such materials, DECOAT is expected to generate on medium-term a novel market of over 150 million in Europe.
As a key partner of the project, Ecomatters will perform life cycle assessment of the DECOAT innovations, and develop an eco-design tool helping industrial players to understand and exploit the benefits of the found solutions in their practice. Speaking at the kick-off meeting in Brussels, our sustainability consultant Natalia Chebaeva said “The project has a high potential to influence how we see coating in the circular economy perspective, as well as significantly reduce plastic waste and greenhouse gases emissions in the industry. This meeting shows the serious approach and enthusiasm of the partners in achieving these goals, and we are looking forward to this exciting collaboration“.