textiles product stewardship

Textiles product stewardship scheme wins support

The Waste Management and Resource Recovery Association of Australia (WMRR) and the National Retail Association (NRA) have backed the federal government’s announcement of a $1 million grant through the National Product Stewardship Fund for clothing textiles. Read more

ICCPM to hold international risk management roundtable

The International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM) will hold a 2020 International Roundtable Series that explores risk, uncertainty and opportunity in complex projects.

According to the 2019 State of Risk Oversight: An Overview of Enterprise Risk Management Practices report, most of the 445 executives surveyed believe business environment uncertainties created complex risk challenges for their organisations.

The report also highlights that few executives described their organisation’s approach to risk management as mature or robust.

An ICCPM statement suggests the dynamic nature of complex projects across all industries, including waste and resource recovery, creates unique challenges for leaders.

“Increasingly volatile project contexts require leaders to integrate emergent phenomena into their adaptive response in order to sustain best practice and realise better outcomes,” the statement reads.

“The 2020 International Roundtable Series will consider what this might mean in relation to risk and opportunity in complex projects, and how we might harness the dynamics of emergence, exploit the necessary uncertainty to create value and through better decision-making, achieve better outcomes.”

The ICCPM International Roundtable Series was established in 2009 as a thought leadership initiative to help organisations stay at the forefront of successful complex project delivery.

“The ICCPM and Queensland University of Technology will facilitate workshops throughout 2020 in key locations across Australia and internationally, to gather insights from across industries, sectors and cultures,” the statement reads.

“At the end of the series, the workshop findings will be synthesised and written up into a final outcomes report to be released no later than mid-2021.”

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Researchers develop polyester extraction and reuse method

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers have developed a treatment to extract and reuse polyester from polyester/wool mix fabrics.

Through extraction and reuse, the researchers hope to divert some of the 92 million tonnes of textiles sent to landfill each year.

QUT Institute for Future Environments faculty Robert Speight and Laura Navone found that a commercial enzyme dissolves wool fibres from polyester and wool mix fabrics, without damaging the polyester strands.

“Recycled polyester is a valuable tradable commodity,” Prof Speight said.

“The polyester extracted from fabric can be made into polyester chips and turned into anything from yarn for new textiles to playground equipment.”

Prof Speight said the value of recycled polyester has gone up significantly in recent years, and gives clothing manufacturers a marketing advantage when able to claim recycled material.

“Adidas, for example, has committed to using only recycled plastic by 2024, which includes polyester – contributing to the demand for recycled polyester,” he said.

Prof Speight said the next phase was to partner with recycling companies to scale and commercialise the process.

QUT Co-researcher Associate Professor Alice Payne said Australians send 500,000 tonnes of textiles to landfill every year.

“Australians discard an estimated $140 million worth of clothes each year, with an average lifetime of three months for each item,” Prof Payne said.

According to Prof Payne, polyester is incorporated in much of the 80-150 billion items of clothing made each year.

“Separating and reusing polyester is part of the drive to prevent waste in the fashion industry,” she said.

“Other ways to prevent waste is to use clothing longer, buy second hand rather than new, and circulate, lend, borrow, repair, upcycle or resell no longer wanted clothing.”

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