Posted March 27, 2014

Fluff: remaining nylon/polyester mixture
Photo Credit: Kishun, Paradise Recyling

Vinyl, nylon, and polyester make up major components of Velcro® hook and loop fasteners. Its offcuts are ground and cryogenically separated to recover the vinyl component (65% by weight), which is then recycled into new Velcro® products. The remaining nylon and polyester mixture along with trace amounts of vinyl is a lightweight fluff that is very problematic to recycle due to its uneconomical transportation value and vinyl content.

To assist in finding a solution, Partners in Project Green facilitated three different solution providers to meet with Velcro® to tackle this outstanding challenge. With no success after several months, Partners in Project Green persisted in its commitment and found that the fourth time was the charm. Paradise Recycling was invited and tested a sample of the fluff in its manufacturing process. They found it worked well in the mixture of its recycled plastics products. On March 14th, a shipment of 13 Gaylord boxes of the material, totaling 1,180 kilograms was exchanged and incorporated into recycled plastic lumber and porta-potty liners.

This on-going partnership will be able to divert up to an estimated 13,600 kilograms annually. Not only does it bring Velcro® closer to achieving its zero-waste goal, the solution also eliminates Velcro®’s disposal costs and reduces their environmental footprint.

Right: Shipment of Fluff
Photo Credit: Chris Rose, Pinnacle Transport

Left: End Product – Recycled Plastic Lumber
Photo Credit: Kishun, Paradise Recycling

Do you have a material that could be reused or recycled? Looking for a better solution? Partners in Project Green staff are here to help you find the best solutions for your organization while looking to minimize your costs.

To participate in the Materials Exchange Program, contact:

Yiyi Shangguan
416-661-6600 x5943