“Sustainability = more than just recycling; it covers the entire life cycle “
The composites sector chain ends with solutions to the end-of-use issue for thermoset composites. Completing the last link in the chain calls for a focus on end-product applications. In this context, waste is synonymous with raw material.
Recycling volumes still seem small; many applications have not yet reached the end of their lifecycle. The social problem is looming, so preparing for it is essential for the sector. Composite processors cannot yet apply their recycling concepts in their current production and product range. The demand for information about actual waste streams is acknowledged. ‘How big is the problem in actual fact?’ Input and insight into which waste streams exist and where they end up for the recyclers business case. In this respect, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment commissioned a report entitled ‘Opzet Monitoringssystematiek Composietsstromen’, or ‘Design for monitoring methodology for composite streams’. (The full report is available for members of CompositesNL.) The research findings can serve as a basis for determining the extent of composite waste streams in the next ten to twenty years.
Recycling has to be sorted out!
The Sustainability working group of CompositesNL can play a role in this on the following points:
- Supporting recycling initiatives in the Netherlands
- Bringing composite companies together to stimulate the logistics surrounding the collection of composite waste (eg central collection point for production waste).
- Point of contact for major waste processors, governments and media regarding the recycling of composites.
- Contact with industry associations and initiatives in other countries in this area.
- Supporting recycling initiatives at colleges and universities.
The Working Group on Sustainability organizes meetings with inspiring speakers from the industry who focus on the theme and then discuss together what conclusions we can draw.
Want to know more or join this working group? Mail your interest to info@compositesNL.nl