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GAIKER-IK4, CTCR, BETA Ingeniería, LOGROTEX y EKOREC colaborate in the European Project LIFE-ECOTEX for the demonstration of the circular economy in the footwear industry

The European project LIFE-ECOTEX will demonstrate a circular economy concept, closing the loop of the polyester textile wastes from the shoemaking industry by means of feedstock recycling in order to achieve new textile products.

2016/12/02  
The shoemaking industry makes an increasing use of the polyester fibre in their manufacturing processes since it is one of the most versatile synthetic fibres and, more importantly, it provides properties highly valued by the customer such as shape retaining, crease-resistance and softness-to-the-touch.
The shoemaking industry makes an increasing use of the polyester fibre in their manufacturing processes since it is one of the most versatile synthetic fibres and, more importantly, it provides properties highly valued by the customer such as shape retaining, crease-resistance and softness-to-the-touch.

The growing consumption of polyester in the footwear sector entails a proportional increase in the polyester waste generation, wastes which currently present only two end-of-life routes: (1) mechanical recycling to obtain low added value products and (2) landfilling.

The European project LIFE-ECOTEX is born with the aim to provide an alternative solution in this scenario by focusing on the introduction of the economy circular concept within the shoemaking industry, closing the loop of the polyester textile wastes by means of the feedstock recycling and leading to the obtaining of chemical monomers with high added value which can be employed in the manufacturing of fibres and, in turn, in the manufacturing of new textile products.

Coordinated by the Technological Centre GAIKER-IK4 – expertise in recycling technologies – the project consortium has been completed with the Footwear Technology Center of La Rioja (CTCR) – expertise in footwear technologies – and with the companies BETA Ingeniería – sustainable energetic operator – and EKOREC – synthetic textile fibre manufacturer.
With a budget of 1,246,048 €, the LIFE-ECOTEX project (2016-2019) is co-financed by the European Commission (Ref. LIFE15 ENV/ES/000658 LIFE-ECOTEX), which contributes with a 60% of the total budget through the LIFE Environment Programme. LIFE is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate actions, and its general objective is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental and climate policy and legislation by co-financing projects with European added value.

Throughout the 36-months duration, the project activities will demonstrate not only the depolymerisation process of the polyester textile wastes from shoemaking industry via catalytic glycolysis but also the viability of obtaining the chemical monomer (Bis(2-hydroxyethyl) terephthalate) with enough quality for its re-polimerization to polyester fibres and the ultimate transformation of theses fibres into yarn for its final use in the manufacturing of new textile products.

 

info:  Clara Bilbao,  bilbaoc@gaiker.es

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