DECOAT’s “Design for Recycling”

Sep 21, 2021 | ISWA blog, ISWA news

Ine De Vilder, PhD

Researcher "Textile Functionalisation & Surface Modification"

Increasing recycling is crucial, especially for plastics and textiles, as illustrated by the recently published European strategy on plastics or the voluntary engagement of the plastics industry to recycle 50% by 2040. However large the need and however impressive the targets, today only 6% of new plastic materials used stems from recycling. Also within the textile industry the use of recycled material is limited: for clothing only about 1% is closed loop, ca 12% cascade recycling.

Currently, at end of life, multi-layered materials like painted plastics or coated textile end up in incineration or landfill as the coatings present hamper the recyclability of the products. Ideally, the coating is removed so the material can be recycled as a monomaterial, allowing to make a shift from a linear to a circular economy. 

Seventeen partners across Europe join forces to develop debondable coating and paints. The DECOAT project focusses mostly on ‘design for recycling’: by adding newly developed additives between the bulk material and the coating, for example in a primer or an adhesive layer, the coating can be removed on upon triggering at end of life. Another approach used in the project is dissolution, and hence removal, of the coating by green solvents (CreaSolv® process).  

 

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