Lio Chang, Deputy General Manager, SINGTEX R&D Department
The 2019 European Green Deal presented the Circular Economy Action Plan to focus on industries with large environmental footprints and high resource use, including the textile industry. It requires large companies to publicly disclose the amount of products that are discarded and destroyed, as well as how they prepare quality treatments such as reuse, recycling, incineration or landfill. The EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles will use product life cycle assessments as a starting point to develop a vision for the future of the textile industry and move towards products that are long-lasting, recyclable, made from recycled fibers wherever possible, and free from hazardous substances. The textile industry will establish a textile to textile product recycling mechanism based on long life cycles, recyclability, maximum use of recycled fibers, and absence of hazardous substances.
In the future, the textile industry must accelerate net-zero carbon reduction and layout of the green supply chain, increase the proportion of recycled materials used, and comply with the standards for recycled synthetic materials. More keywords such as "environmental protection", "recycling", "regeneration", "carbon reduction", "green energy" and other concerns continue to be discussed, but only to reduce the impact of the industry on the land.
A single-material garment recycling system depends on the recycling process based on the principle that the material is a single component. Since the use of recycled materials in textile fabrics has been developed for a long time, when the recycled textile materials are waterproof composites or contain more than 7% polyurethane, the waste will cause environmental hazards. The world’s obsession with fast fashion has resulted in an increasing amount of pre-consumer waste and post-consumer waste, which not only pollutes the environment but also increases the risk of chronic asphyxiation of marine ecosystems, causing an unquantifiable negative environmental impact.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) pointed out in 2018 that more than 12% of textile fibers are lost during the production of apparel, and more than 73% of garments sold as commodities are incinerated or buried after use by consumers. The waste of waterproof and breathable composite textiles has not been properly treated.
GFUN, a subsidiary of SINGTEX Group, has formulated a process to sort, depolymerize, synthesize, and formulate coating of textile waste trimmings for recycling back into waterproof and breathable polyurethane film applications; the purpose is to implement a closed-loop recycling system for textiles and to solve the current dilemma of waterproof and breathable composite textiles that are ultimately unable to be recycled globally.
Dreams need to be realized, technology needs to be applied, and this land needs to be protected. The people, things and objects around us are all resources, which will eventually be depleted and the land will become barren.
Taiwan is a beautiful island, we should be people-oriented and nurture unlimited possibilities.
Taiwan Textile, let's do it together!