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issue 05/2021

  • Text
  • Co2
  • Biocomposites
  • Nonwovens
  • Textiles
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  • Plastics
  • Renewable
  • Carbon
  • Packaging
  • Sustainable
  • Products
  • Fibres
  • Biobased
  • Materials
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Fibres, Textiles, Nonwovens Biocomposites Basics: CO2-based plastics

Fibres, Textiles

Fibres, Textiles Environmentally friendly textile treatments Tidal Vision (Bellingham, Washington, USA) recently announced a new partnership with Leigh Fibers and the opening of a new production facility in Wellford, South Carolina, USA. These developments transform the textile industry’s access to sustainable biobased textile treatments that are now displacing millions of pounds of synthetic, often toxic chemical treatments used in the textile industry. Many consumers are not aware that textile fibers used to produce their apparel, carpet, mattress, furniture and many other products are often treated with toxic antimicrobials and fire retardants. These nonbiodegradable chemicals, such as heavy metals like silver or copper, often end up washing out and polluting waterways. Historically, sustainable biobased alternatives required textiles manufacturers to compromise on price or performance. Tidal-Tex is Tidal Vision’s product line of water-based textile treatment solutions that are formulated with a non-toxic, abundant, and biodegradable biopolymer called chitosan. To make switching convenient, Tidal-Tex is customized to be a drop-in product that is usable in textile manufacturers’ existing infrastructure. Tidal Vision sources, extracts, and processes chitosan from crab and shrimp shells, byproducts of the seafood industry that would otherwise be discarded. Tidal-Tex can be applied to textiles through a simple dip, spray or coating application where curing is as easy as drying, or removing the water, and leaving behind the desired performance benefits. Tidal Vision formulates different variations of Tidal-Tex to provide biostatic, fire retardant, or anti-odor properties to textiles. Tidal-Tex product line offers formulas with Tidal Vision’s patented crosslinking technology for unprecedented washing durability performance. These high-performance biobased treatments are applied to fibers, yarn, woven or nonwoven textiles – which make up products ranging from furniture, mattress to apparel and more. Tidal Vision and Leigh Fibers are looking forward to the positive impact their partnership will have on the textile industry and the environment. Tidal Vision’s CEO Craig Kasberg, said, “Our mission is to create positive and systemic environmental impact. In the textile industry, to have the biggest impact it made sense to start with fibers treated at the top of the supply chain. Leigh Fibers was our ideal partner since their mission, values and business model are so synergetic with ours. Both of our companies produce sustainable solutions by upcycling byproducts that would otherwise end up in landfills, and through vertical integration we provide high performance products out of what was previously considered waste.” “Partnering with Tidal Vision is a win-win for our company, our customers, and the environment,” said Eric Westgate, SVP of Leigh Fibers. “Their Tidal-Tex product line delivers the key benefits that our customers look for in textiles at a lower price and is made from sustainable materials in the USA. At Leigh Fibers, we’re committed to advancing sustainable innovation and repurposing textiles for a cleaner, healthier planet.” The opening of Tidal Vision’s new 2,230 m² (24,000 sq. ft) facility within Leigh Fiber’s 93,000 m² (1,000,000 sq. ft) headquarters provides for economies of scale in the heart of the U.S. textile industry. The facility delivers Tidal-Tex chitosan solutions at a lower cost than the traditionally used synthetic chemical textile treatments. This transformational shift in cost and availability of environmentally friendly biobased textile treatments empowers textile companies to displace toxic chemical treatments without compromise, which ultimately leads to less toxic chemicals washing out or leaching into waterways. Tidal Vision’s strategy is to provide these biobased solutions at a lower price to advance their mission to create systemic environmental impact. “Our proprietary lower-cost chitosan technology, combined with lower freight costs from our new facility, allows us to deliver our Tidal-Tex product line to textile manufacturers at a price point less than half of many heavy metal antimicrobials, such as silver and copper. This is the first time that fiber, yarn, and textile manufacturers have had an environmentally friendly option at a lower cost with equivalent or better performance. I believe the entire industry will adopt these biobased chemistry treatments now that we conveniently have a facility in the heart of the textile industry and a reputable partner in Leigh Fibers” said Kari Ingalls, Director of Textile Business Development at Tidal Vision. MT | 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/21] Vol. 16

Highperformance, biobased and compostable yarns Fibres, Textiles According to the Ellen Macarthur foundation, washing clothes releases half a million tonnes of microplastics into the ocean each year. That’s equivalent to over 50 billion plastic bottles. Currently, over 60 % of global textile fibres are synthetic materials [1]. The microfibers they shed are toxic to wildlife and the environment. They also take hundreds of years to decompose and contribute to the 80 % of marine pollution which comes from land-based activities [2]. Today, recycled plastic bottles (rPET) are the current industry standard for polyester fibres, however these still contribute to microplastic pollution. PANGAIA, London, England, recently partnered with Kintra Fibers, New York, USA, to make high-performance, biobased and compostable yarns formulated to keep the oceans microfiber-free. Their mission is to improve and pioneer industry standards for synthetic materials by helping to scale Kintra’s resin and yarn process through Pangaia’s supply chain and develop first-of-its-kind compostable fabric blends and apparel. Kintra’s fibres are made of a polyester called polybutylene succinate (PBS) which is biodegradable and compostable, currently derived from corn instead of fossil fuels. The material they are developing “will be 100 % biobased and traced to corn and wheat primary feedstocks,” explained Kintra Co-founder and CEO, Billy McCall. A Textile Exchange survey of 170 fashion brands (2019) found that only 8 % knew their polyester supply chain to the chemical supplier level, and none have made this information public. However, polyester represents around 52 % of the global fibre market [3]. The new Kintra material offers brands the opportunity to set a new standard of transparency in the synthetic material supply chain. “We are committed to bring visibility to an opaque part of the supply chain to help brands build a better, more sustainable future [...]. We’re thrilled to work with Pangaia, a brand [...] committed to revolutionizing raw materials [seen] through their track record of working with ecofriendly innovations and processes.” Said Alissa Baier- Lentz, Co-Founder and COO at Kintra Fibers, The benefits of biodegradable polyester The new Kintra material is a solution to the problematic overuse of traditional, petroleum-based, and nonbiodegradable synthetic fabrics that contribute to microplastic pollution. The Kintra resin and yarns can be seamlessly integrated into existing synthetic manufacturing and textile production supply chains at a competitive price point, providing a scalable and cost-effective sustainable alternative to synthetics such as PET, rPET, or nylon. “We are excited to [...] bring real systemic change of material possibilities for the industry. We hope this material will become a model not just for Pangaia, but for the industry at large. The Kintra fibre is a true embodiment of Pangaia’s commitment to ‘high tech naturalism’, our material philosophy. Kintra’s breakthroughs in responsible, biobased chemistry allow us to design for the performance and end-of-life of our garments from the molecule up.” Said Amanda Parkes, CINO at Pangaia. Billy McCall, Co-Founder and CEO at Kintra Fibers added, “Pangaia’s science-based standards for sustainability are unparalleled, and their commitment to the planet is visible in each step of their supply chain. We look forward to collaborating with the Pangaia team and integrating our technology into their fabrics and garments. As a lifelong surfer, protecting the oceans is near and dear to me. By designing for the material end-of-life at its start, we offer the industry a solution for microfiber pollution, as well as the ability to fit with chemical and physical recycling systems.” AT References [1] Exchange_Preferred-Fiber-Material-Market-Report_2020.pdf [2] [3] uploads/2019/11/Textile-Exchange_Preferred-Fiber-Material-Market- Report_2019.pdf | bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/21] Vol. 16 17

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