Applicazioni Plastiche Industriali S.p.A (API), the footwear arm of material solutions provider Trinseo, recently received Global Recycled Standard (GRS) accreditation for three of its thermoplastic elastomers (TPU). These materials – all branded APILON™ 52 ECO – are part of the Company’s sustainable solutions portfolio and contain varying amounts of recycled content.
The GRS certification provides independent evidence of a material’s sustainability claim.
To be certified, a material must contain at least 20% pre-consumer or post-consumer recycled content. API has been working closely with its customer VAMAS for the past five years on a closed-loop initiative to secure scrap material straight from the luxury footwear maker’s manufacturing floor and feed it back into virgin material for reprocessing.
This scrap is considered Post Industrial Recycled (PIR) material since it left the original place of production – API – and was reclaimed from an outside facility – VAMAS.
“This is an example of a creative material solution developed together with one of our valued customers to achieve sustainability goals,” said Giancarlo Busa, Global Market Leader TPE Footwear. “VAMAS has always been committed to sustainable solutions and this is another way the company can reduce its impact on the environment through material selection.”
“In this case, by reclaiming scrap from material originally produced at Trinseo, we know the composition of the product, and can mix it with virgin material while maintaining original performance properties. By having up to 50% recycled content in our APILON™ 52 ECO grades, we’re able to reduce fossil-based raw material consumption by reusing material that would have otherwise been scrapped.”
API was audited by ICEA, a non-profit consortium that certifies food and non-food companies in areas of sustainability. ICEA is endorsed by GRS as well as the Textile Exchange, a global non-profit that drives textile industry transformation with a goal of reducing the industry’s impact on the world’s water, soil, air, and human population.
The audit for GRS traced the material from the time it was produced and compounded at API to the VAMAS production facility where it was reclaimed, separated by color, and reground. Auditors then followed it through the process of being returned to API for reprocessing and finally delivered to VAMAS to be used in new footwear applications.
API is known in the footwear industry for working closely with customers throughout the footwear development process, its custom color capabilities, and its next generation sustainability solutions that include bioplastics as well as recycled content containing materials. Its vision over the next several years is to continue to impact sustainability through a portfolio of innovative materials where with a growing percentage of them is considered sustainable because of their composition.
Earlier this month API’s parent company Trinseo launched ambitious sustainability goals for the next decade. Read more here.