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Polish primary school and Finnish university win 2015 paper recycling awards

Posted By:18/12/2015

Polish primary school and Finnish university win 2015 paper recycling awards

The European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) launched a call for candidates for the 2015 European Paper Recycling Awards.

The awards identify projects, initiatives and campaigns that contribute to Europe’s sustainability through activities supporting paper recycling.

On October 2015 the European Recovered Paper Council (ERPC) announced the winners of the fifth European Paper Recycling awards.
The well-attended ceremony took place at the European Parliament and was hosted by MEP Eva Kaili who is also head of the Greek S&D delegation.

The winner of the Technology Improvement and R&D category was Aalto University and VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland) with a new, innovative process for turning paper for recycling and cardboard into textile fibres called Ioncell-F.
Although producing textile fibres from cellulosic material is nothing new, the process submitted by Aalto University and VTT is innovative in two ways.

Firstly, it allows for the production of fibres of quality equal or better than those deriving from similar processes. Their high strength also renders the fibres suitable as natural reinforcement in composite materials.
Secondly, the process makes it possible to use lignin as a natural textile dye. The Ioncell-F process is based on the use of a so-called ionic liquid to dissolve cellulosic waste material without the addition of toxic chemicals and spin fibres for the production of textiles and garments.
“We’re happy to see this environmentally-friendly process already attracting considerable interest, even though it is still in a developmental phase”, said Michael Hummel, Postdoctoral researcher at Aalto University.

The winner of the Information and Education category was the Literatura za Makulature (Literature for Paper for Recycling) project, submitted by a primary school in the Tychy region of Poland.
In order to encourage children to get involved in paper recycling, the school invited famous Polish authors to meet its pupils, paying for their participation with money raised from selling the paper for recycling brought to school by the children. The initiative is unique not only in Tychy but in Poland.

In his speech ERPC Chairman Henri Vermeulen stressed the role of the recycling awards. “It is our pleasure to highlight and reward innovative paper recycling projects coming from education institutions. Initiatives like these prove that the paper industry is already the perfect example of a circular economy”, he added.

Source: European Tissue Symposium

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