Contributing to a circular economy

Contributing to a circular economy

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A circular economy involves making smarter and better use of raw and processed materials. Specifically: maintaining and prolonging, reusing, refurbishing and recycling. In an ideal world, we would de-atomize our products and reuse the content. This would eliminate the need to use new virgin materials. Unfortunately, the real world is more complex, and we recognize that going circular is an ongoing process that we need to take one step at the time, contributing where we can.  

Making new products from waste durable and sustainable

Every form of production creates by-products, which traditionally go to waste. But not today. And we love the innovative spirit of a time in which waste products are being used to create alternative materials. Materials made from fruit waste, for instance, but also from other organic, natural ingredients. This is why Stahl invests in technologies and partnerships to turn these new materials into durable and sustainable products. With the right chemistry, we can add functionality, durability and aesthetics to new materials made from commercial waste.

We also look at our own by-products and waste streams for ways to use the content for new purposes. In these ways, we contribute to an economy that looks for ways to be circular and less wasteful.

Clean-labeled auxiliaries that safely reuse leather by-products

By-products from leather production are typically used for other purposes. The lime fleshings and lime splits of the hides, for example, often become raw materials for collagen and gelatin producers in the food industry. Gelatin is used in, among other things, fruit gum candies, butter, medicine capsules and whipping cream. Because collagen and gelatin are foodstuffs that can’t be replaced, it is important that the auxiliaries used in the beamhouse for soaking and liming are clean labeled, meaning they are safe to use in the food and beverage industry. We are proud that our Proviera® - Probiotics for Leather products are now NSF-registered. This label indicates that the lime fleshings and splits are safe to reuse in the food and beverage industry. 

Giving used materials a new life with our aftercare products

Another way to look at the durability of materials, is how to make heavily used materials like new again. By repairing products using the right chemistry. To give them a new life, reusing the materials that are already there. Our aftercare products can help with that.

Take for example an old, cracked leather couch. With our aftercare products you can degrease the leather, fill the cracks and gaps, prepare it again with a primer to finish it with a color coat and give it the aesthetic effects you desire. Watch our tutorial on how to make a leather couch look like brand new.

Circular economy: restore and regenerate

Developing products based on renewable resources and improving the (bio-based) content of our products represent the first steps in moving from a linear to a circular economy. However, the transition to a circular economy requires more than simply switching to renewable resources; it involves understanding the whole product value chain – reuse, recycling and composting – to become fully circular.

We recognize that we need to develop a better understanding of how the products we help to make are managed when they reach the end of their life. Our experts – together with partners – are acquiring knowledge about the principles of recycling and composting versus traditional landfilling and incineration to understand how our products can play a positive role in the transition.

Are you looking for more information?

Please get in touch with your relevant contact within Stahl:

Contributing to a circular economy
John Fletcher
Chief Innovation Officer