Composites UK, Scott Bader and Renuables, with funding support from the National Composites Centre and Innovate UK, have collaborated on a new report detailing the best way forward for disposal/recycling of waste fibre reinforced polymer material (FRP) in terms of cost and environmental impact, in the UK.
Its intention is to direct research and development spending, as well as commercial investment to accelerate the most environmentally and economically sustainable solutions.
The material being considered in this study is primarily glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP), which uses a thermoset resin. It may also be relevant to thermoset carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) which is currently uneconomical to recycle by pyrolysis.
Jean-Claude Pierre, CEO of Scott Bader Company Ltd added: "Composites have an important role in the drive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to lessen our reliance on fossil fuel, however, composites can never be truly sustainable until we have suitable options for their end-of-life management. At Scott Bader we believe that composites can be part of the circular economy and I encourage partners across the composites value chain to join us on this exciting journey to make sustainable composites a reality".
Stella Job, Supply Chain and Environment Manager at Composites UK said: “We are working hard to accelerate the best disposal routes for the industry and for the environment. This study highlights what is happening now and what the next steps are for the future.”
The study also drew on consultancy from Axion, circular economy specialists, and over 30 industry professionals and academics who contributed information from past or present experience.
A summary of the study is available for download from the Composites UK website, here.