STAND Up!: Wastex wins the eco-innovative challenge on the reuse of the textile waste produced by the Prato area in Italy
The innovative solution launched by the new-born and Tuscany-based start-up Wastex Engineering is the most interesting and suitable solution to respond to the challenge for a more sustainable reuse of the huge amount of textile waste produced within the Prato textile district, a challenge issued last August on The Switchers Open Eco-Innovation platform.
The challenge, which was launched by The Municipality of Prato through the online platform, aimed at matching companies and public institutions in search of green and circular business solutions with an innovation approach together with entrepreneur providers, under the supervision of TEXFOR and Medwaves. Thus, it was intended to identify sustainable, circular and innovative solutions for the reuse of the amount of textile wastes managed annually by the Prato district which is estimated in more than 35.000 tons and, if it’s not properly addressed, causing serious environmental damage to the area.
The innovative solution proposed by Wastex that enabled it to win the challenge consists on optimising the production of a special asphalt concrete “Asphaltex”, which includes a significant amount of specifically treated textile waste, and to avoid the disposal of textile waste (in landfill or incinerators) associated with unsustainable costs for society and the environment.
The main innovation proposed is the ability to apply a treatment to the textile waste in order to convert a waste in a specialized component, able to improve specific performances of the asphalt in terms of shock and vibration absorption, energy dissipation, subbase protection, noise emission reduction and absorption.
The sustainability goal is reached through economic efficiency (landfill or burning costs of the actual standard practice), ecological efficiency (carbon neutrality or C02 reduction), impact minimization on natural environment, utilization of renewable resources in sustainable manners and social sustainability. “Asphaltex”, will be initially validated for footpaths, bike paths and secondary roads.
The prize for having won the eco-innovative challenge is a voucher of €18,000 that will be used to develop the proposed idea and implement it starting a new research program exploring the possibility to extend the “Asphaltex” applications.