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Issue 07/2022 Special Edition

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Highlights: Advanced Recycling Carbon Capture & Utilisation

Fibres / Textiles /

Fibres / Textiles / Nonwovens First fabric created using recycled carbon emissions Biotechnology company LanzaTech (Skokie, IL, USA) today announced it has partnered with lululemon athletica inc. (Vancouver, Canada), an athletic apparel company, to create the world’s first yarn and fabric using recycled carbon emissions that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere as pollution. LanzaTech uses nature-based solutions to produce ethanol from waste carbon sources and is working with partners India Glycols Limited (IGL) (Noida, India) and Far Eastern New Century (FENC) (Taipei, Taiwan) to convert ethanol to polyester. Recycling carbon is a fundamental element of the circular economy, which will keep fossil carbon in the ground, reducing pollution and fossil fuel usage when used to make polyester. With a lower carbon footprint, this innovation could transform lululemon’s products and the apparel industry. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech said, “We must radically change how we source, utilize, and dispose of carbon. Carbon recycling enables companies like lululemon to continue to move away from virgin fossil resources, bring circularity to their products, and achieve their climate change goals around carbon reduction. We call this being ‘CarbonSmart.’” Ted Dagnese, Chief Supply Chain Officer, lululemon said, “Lululemon is committed to making products that are better in every way – building a healthier future for ourselves, for our communities, and for our planet. We know sustainable innovation will play a key role in the future of retail and apparel, and we are excited to be at the forefront of an innovative technology. Our partnership with LanzaTech will help lululemon deliver on our Impact Agenda goals to make 100 % of our products with sustainable materials and end-of-use solutions, moving us toward a circular ecosystem by 2030”. In October, lululemon released its first Impact Agenda, outlining its multi-year strategies to address critical social and environmental issues with 12 goals to drive progress. The partnership with LanzaTech is one of the many ways lululemon is focused on bringing new technologies to the business. Polyester fibre is one of the most popular synthetic fibres which commonly uses petroleum-based feedstock. Using FENC ® TOPGREEN ® Bio3-PET fibre made from LanzaTech’s ethanol shows FENC’s and lululemon’s commitments to sustainable innovation. This waste-gas-based polyester possesses not only the same appearance but also the same properties and functionality of virgin polyester. Industrial emissions, such as those from a steel mill, would otherwise be combusted and emitted as GHGs and particulate emissions harmful to the health of our planet and our communities. By capturing these and reusing the carbon to make yarn, the finished garments not only have a lower carbon footprint but ensure community pollution levels are reduced. If these chemicals are made into new products such as textiles, once these products reach the end of their useful life and become waste, they can be gasified and fermented by LanzaTech’s process. In this sense, the pathway promotes circularity, keeping the carbon in the material cycle. “Partnering with technology leaders and other reputed companies is a great way to create the much needed sustainable business models which are so important to help us deal with the major challenges like climate change that we face,” commented US Bhartia, Chairman of IGL. Rupark Sarswat, CEO, IGL said, “We take pride in being part of this exciting collaboration for a better planet and what better way than to capture emissions and use innovative green technologies to create useful CarbonSmart products”. Fanny Liao, EVP of RD & BD, FENC said, “Since initially connecting LanzaTech’s Taiwanese joint-venture setup with a pilot plant in Taiwan, I believed this waste-gas-based polyester formation would be a sustainable solution for the polyester industry. We are happy to team up with IGL and lululemon to complete the supply chain for this historical project and continue working with LanzaTech towards our common goal for a better Earth”. AT | | | LanzaTech’s process sources carbon from different types of feedstocks, from industrial emissions to syngas from gasified agricultural or household waste (including textile waste) and atmospheric CO 2 . The gas stream is fermented by LanzaTech’s special microorganisms into ethanol or other chemicals. The process is like traditional fermentation, except instead of sugars and yeast, it uses the carbon contained in waste gases and the microorganisms. The process of capturing and recycling carbon before it is released in the atmosphere is an innovation that LanzaTech has brought to airlines, home care companies, and now textile production. 30 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/21] Vol. 16

Enzymatic recycling technology for textile circularity Carbios (Saint-Beauzire, France), a pioneer in the development of enzymatic solutions dedicated to the endof-life of plastic and textile polymers, recently announced the validation of the 3 rd and final technical step of the CE-PET research project, co-funded by ADEME (France’s Environment and Energy Management Agency), for which Carbios is the lead partner alongside its academic partner Toulouse White Biotechnology (Toulouse, France). This achievement confirms, once again, the full potential and breadth of Carbios’ enzymatic recycling process, C-ZYME . This breakthrough innovation makes it possible to produce a wide variety of products of equivalent quality to those of petro-sourced origin from any PET waste, including textiles. The first white PET fibre recycled enzymatically from coloured textile waste Worldwide, around 90 million tonnes of PET are produced each year, more than 2/3 of which are used to manufacture fibres. However, only 13 % of textile waste is currently recycled, mainly for downcycling, i.e. for lower-quality applications (such as padding, insulators, or rags). By successfully manufacturing at pilot scale a white PET fibre that is 100 % enzymatically recycled from coloured textile waste, Carbios is paving the way for the circular economy in the textile industry. C-ZYME is now on the doorstep of industrialization and will soon enable the biggest brands to move closer to their sustainability goals. “Thanks to our breakthrough process, it will soon be possible to manufacture, on a large scale, t-shirts or bottles using polyester textile waste as raw material”, said Emmanuel Ladent, CEO of Carbios. “This is a major breakthrough that gives value to waste that currently has little or no value. It is a concrete solution that opens up a global market of 60 million tonnes per year of potential raw materials and will help to reduce the use of fossil resources”. Textile waste that can also be used to manufacture food contact packaging In November 2020, Carbios had already produced the first transparent bottles from textile waste. These 100 % recycled PET bottles have now passed the food contact validation tests. This is an important step that paves the way for the use of a new waste source for the production of biorecycled PET food packaging. Separate collection of textile waste soon to be mandatory in Europe From 1 January 2025 the separate collection of textile waste, which is already in place in some countries, will be mandatory for all EU Member States (European Directive 2018/851 on waste). Carbios’ process will be one of the solutions that will enable this waste to be sustainably recovered and included in a truly circular economy model. These technological validations were carried out as part of the CE-PET research project, co-funded by ADEME. In particular, the project aimed to develop Carbios’ enzymatic PET recycling process on textile waste. The C-ZYME technology is complementary to thermomechanical recycling and will make it possible to process plastic and textile waste deposits that are currently not or poorly recovered. For the validation of this stage of the project, Carbios received EUR 827,200 (EUR 206,800 in grants and EUR 620,400 in repayable advances). AT Fibres / Textiles / Nonwovens bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/21] Vol. 16 31

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