From wind turbine covers to work bags – tackling the textile mountain
Whilst wind energy undoubtedly plays an important part in our fight against climate change – much controversy still surrounds air turbines & their parts being non-recyclable at end of life.
Yorkshire based innovative recyclers MyGroup (www.mygroupltd.com) have developed a solution to upcycle the hardwearing poly-blend bags used to protect and transport Siemens Gamesa wind turbines during the installation process.
The company’s textile team has deconstructed the material and created work & tool bags for staff members at the wind turbine manufacturing plant. The design creates a circular solution for the material. Otherwise, it would take up large amounts of space in landfills or go to incineration (some poly blend materials can take up to 200 years to degrade in a landfill).
The challenge we face with any kind of textile recycling is enormous. But hardwearing textiles designed for industrial projects are increasingly hard-to-repurpose. It’s reported that 95% of textiles have the potential to be recycled, yet currently less than 15% is being recycled effectively.
MyGroup is known mainly for their innovative solutions for plastic recycling, notably for facemask recycling in Wilko stores and cosmetic recycling in Boots stores. But the company is now expanding focus on creating viable upcycling routes for textiles too.
Katie Robinson, Textile Technician at MyGroup, said, “The Siemens Turbine bag is a great example of our solutions – a complex, poly based material built to last, yet when it’s retired from its original purpose, what’s next? We decided this material would be perfect as a tool bag because of its durability. Using in-house processes and craftmanship, we came up with a solution to divert this material away from incineration or landfill. There really is no such thing as non-recyclable for us. Everything has another purpose. It’s our job to find and realise that purpose.”
Plans are in place to continue experimenting with the tricky poly-blend textiles to create more items, such as duffel bags, tipis and shelters. The long-term aim is to create more viable streams to divert complex poly based textiles from landfills.