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A Spanish SME leads a proposal aimed to recover PU (polyurethane) from waste of the footwear industry. They search three partners with these roles: design, prototyping and manufacturing of elastomeric parts, pultruded composite profiles and molded composite parts; carbon footprint assays and life cycle assessment of the final products; production of footwear to validate the circular economy model. The proposal will be submitted to the LIFE subprogramme “Circular economy and quality of life”.
The PU (polyurethane) is an important part of the shoe soles, so it is always present in the waste coming from the footwear industry that ends up in landfills generating environmental risks.
The Spanish SME designs, develops and optimizes polymeric and elastomeric materials for their subsequent use in various industrial sectors, especially in the footwear sector. They are strongly committed to R&D activities and projects.
They are preparing a proposal entitled “LIFE PURETECH: PU REcycling TECHnology for wastes derived from the footwear industry” to be submitted to the subprogramme “Circular economy and quality of life” within the LIFE Programme.
The aim of the project is to recover the PU (polyurethane) from the waste derived from the footwear industry, such as the PU which is present in shoe soles, through mechanical pre-treatment and a novel chemical recycling process. With this recovered PU, it is intended to develop new formulations and products for the footwear industry, contributing in this way to reduce the amount of waste that ends up accumulated in landfills and that generates environmental risks and closing a cycle belonging to the currents of the circular economy.
The SME acting as coordinator of the project will be responsible for the PU recovery from footwear waste, using their own novel PU waste recycling process (through chemical recycling).
They already count on a textile RTO in the consortium with +300 employees whose role is the pre-treatment of wastes (crushing, separation, sorting, etc.) in their own recycling facilities.
To complete the consortium, they are looking for three project partners with the following competences:
o Design, prototyping and manufacturing of elastomeric parts (rubber, silicone, LSR -Liquid Silicone Rubber-, TPE -Thermoplastic Elastomers- and polyurethane), pultruded composite profiles and molded composite parts (enterprise)
o Carbon footprint assays and life cycle assessments for the final products (enterprise or research entity)
o Production of footwear prototypes in order to validate the circular economy model (enterprise)
Funding programme: Programme for Environment and Climate Action (LIFE). Circular Economy and Quality of Life - Standard Action Projects (SAP) (LIFE-2021-SAP-ENV)
Official deadline for the call: 30 November 2021
Deadline for EoIs: 30 October 2021
Anticipated duration of the project: 24 Months
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