After more than twelve years in the digital printing industry I still ask myself the same question “are we green enough to help our planet?” But do not misunderstand me I am not a tree huger or something like that. I only think that being an industry in which tons of waste is generated, that although a certain percentage is recycled, another bigger percentage still reaches the garbage dumps.
All that material that can be reused and transformed into new products it’s just waiting for a creative mind that sees beyond a simple pile of waste.
Americans consume over 48 billion bottles of water each year, with approximately 80% ending up in landfills.
Pilot Pen developed the B2P (Bottle to Pen) line, which is a pen made from 89% recycled plastic bottles, with a water bottle inspired barrel design and are 100% refillable. The plastic from one bottle can be used to create approximately two B2P pens.
Trex eco-friendly decking
Trex company manufacture eco-friendly composite decks from a combination of 95% recycled wood and plastic film.
They reclaimed wood (that normally would go to the landfill) and turn it into sawdust and then combine it with recycled plastic waste from a wide variety of sources (overwrap on paper towels, dry cleaner bags, sandwich bags, newspaper sleeves, grocery and shopping bags, etc).
The average 500-square foot composite Trex deck contains 140,000 recycled plastic bags and because they use reclaimed sawdust, they claim that they have never had to cut down a tree to make their products.
Chakr Shield Ink
With urbanization comes the growing concern of deadly pollution. According to BreathLife 2030, over 80% of the world’s urban residents breathe air pollution. Emissions from factories and vehicles have made the air, thick, smoky and difficult to breathe in.
Chakr Shield has developed a retro-fit emission control device for diesel generators that takes diesel soot from generators and converts it into inks and paints.
The technology can capture over 90% of the particulate matter emissions from the exhaust of diesel generators (which is essentially black carbon). Once the particulate matter is captured, it is stored and processed into ink. The ink can be mixed with the right medium to be used in textile printing, paper printing, printer cartridges, paints, etc.
The Fashion Side of the Ecology
We breathe contaminated air almost in every place we go, causing many health problems. Fashion is known for being one of the most polluting industries, but in recent years they have taken cards up the issue trying to change that image that has stigmatized the textile industry for years.
RepAir (designed by Kloters) is the first smart t-shirt with the ability to clean the pollution produced by two cars, cleaning the air around you.
This t-shirt can help to clean the air without any external energy source. Its front pocket is made of an antibacterial and breathable fabric that incorporates a patented material (Breath®) capable of separate, absorb and retain lot of pollutants and bad odors in the air.
The air flows through the pocket into the insert and pollutants and bad odors are captured and contained in the insert. The t-shirt works for six months before the filtration system needs replacing.
But there is a catch: the t-shirt air-filtering component must be treated as special waste and cannot be recycled, but the company is working with “Anemotech” on producing a more recyclable version. So is it really eco-friendly?
Tropical crop residues are abundant and are simply left to rot creating significant contamination and a focus of disease.
Agraloop can produce low-cost bio-materials entirely from food-crop waste; transforming this waste into natural fibers products, providing sustainable and regenerative components.
The company can utilize a range of feedstock including oilseed hemp, oilseed flax straw, pineapple leaves, banana trunks and sugar cane bark to produce textiles, packaging, and organic fertilizer material.
This substrate is a form of nylon that is made entirely from waste products such as: abandoned fishing nets, carpets and textiles. It’s the same as brand new nylon with the advantage that can be recycled, recreated and remolded many times.
To produce Econyl, first waste products are taken to retreatment facilities where they are sorted and shredded into small pieces. Then the shredded material is moved to a regeneration plant where they are put into chemical reactors that break down the components of the material and re-generate the polyamide 6.
Swimwear brands were the first to invest in these fibers as the majority of their products are made from nylon; but besides swimwear, this material is suitable for the manufacture of sportswear, lingerie and outdoor clothing.