The textile value chain is broad, ranging from fibres, yarns, knitted, woven or nonwoven structures to home-textiles or clothing, among others. The number of processes and chemicals involved in the textile value chain can be overwhelming, and its impact on the environment has been growing each year, despite the efforts to make it a more sustainable. For instance, over the past few years, clothing consumption has risen substantially worldwide to an estimated 62 million tonnes of clothing per year and is projected to reach 102 million tonnes by 2030.
Waste2BioComp will use a new technology, electrospray, which will be adapted for the new bio-based materials, to produce PHA-based fibres, nonwovens, and nonwoven coatings. These will then be used for the final demonstrators. The materials developed will potentially be used for other applications in the textile value-chain, such as fashion, or medical textiles.
Packaging can be made of different materials, being plastic the most representative one. There has been progress in replacing plastic packaging with paper-based ones. However, the recurring use of plasticized paper, ends up making it non-recyclable, which creates another problem. The replacement of plastic packaging with bio-based ones is a trend, albeit in a low scale, with limited properties and higher production costs.
Waste2BioComp will focus mainly on plastic packaging materials, by developing bio-based plastic films for packaging by extrusion, blown extrusion and thermoforming processes, which will be recyclable, or at least biodegradable.
The worldwide footwear production has increased by 21.2 % since 2010 at an average yearly growth rate of 2.2 %. The latter had a significant impact on the environment, representing 1.4% of global climate impacts. Footwear production encompasses different processes and materials, such as the manufacture of soles and insoles, which still rely mainly on non-renewable, non-biodegradable, synthetic polymers such as EVA or PU and TPU.
Waste2BioComp will produce bio-based foams for shoe soles and insoles by compounding, foaming and crosslinking processes, developing as final demonstrators’ shoe sole materials with different hardness and three-layered shoe insoles, with antimicrobial and antifungal properties, personalized by inkjet printing.