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Footwear Firm API Lands Global Recycled Standard Accreditation

Applicazioni Plastiche Industriali (API), the footwear arm of material solutions provider Trinseo, has received Textile Exchange’s Global Recycled Standard (GRS) accreditation for three of its thermoplastic elastomers (TPU).

These materials, all under the APILON 52 Eco brand, are part of the company’s sustainable solutions portfolio and contain varying amounts of recycled content. The GRS certification provides independent evidence of a material’s sustainability claim.

To be certified, a material needs to contain at least 20 percent pre-consumer or post-consumer recycled content. API said it has been working closely with its customer, VAMAS, for the past five years on a closed-loop initiative to secure scrap material that comes directly from the luxury footwear maker’s manufacturing floor and feed it back into virgin material for reprocessing.

This scrap is considered Post Industrial Recycled (PIR) material since it left the original place of production, API, and was reclaimed from an outside facility, VAMAS, the company noted.

“This is an example of a creative material solution developed together with one of our valued customers to achieve sustainability goals,” Giancarlo Busa, global market leader for TPE footwear at Trinseo. “VAMAS has always been committed to sustainable solutions and this is another way the company can reduce its impact on the environment through material selection. In this case, by reclaiming scrap from material originally produced at Trinseo, we know the composition of the product and can mix it with virgin material while maintaining original performance properties. By having up to 50 percent recycled content in our APILON 52 Eco grades, we’re able to reduce fossil-based raw material consumption by reusing material that would have otherwise been scrapped.”

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API was audited by ICEA, a non-profit consortium that certifies food and non-food companies in areas of sustainability. ICEA is endorsed by GRS and Textile Exchange, a global non-profit that drives textile industry transformation with a goal of reducing the industry’s impact on the environment.

The audit for GRS traced the material from the time it was produced and compounded at API to the VAMAS production facility where it was reclaimed, separated by color and reground. Auditors then followed it through the process of being returned to API for reprocessing and finally delivered to VAMAS to be used in new footwear applications.

API said its vision for the next several years is to continue to impact sustainability through a portfolio of innovative materials where a growing percentage is considered sustainable because of their composition.