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Garden pots from old peas, used steamed candles, recycled felt chairs, steel slag routes – here are some examples of the use of waste currently collected in Slovenia on landfills, and we do not know where they are. But garbage is not necessarily bad. The idea of ​​their conversion into new and attractive products, which in recent years has been the domain of ecological enthusiasm, slowly and continuously penetrates the mentality of companies, both in the world and in our country.

Environmental care, as well as pressure and imminent fines

A foreign example is an American coffee giant Starbuckswho signed a contract with Pentatonic Berlin for the purchase of their armchairs, made of used bottles and coffee pots. Pentatonic produces all junk waste dumps, and their cycle is "infinite" because they can process their products to new ones by integrating users in the supply chain. The Berliners have already made a table and a desk with Starbucks coffee mugs. Johann Boedecker, co-founder of Pentaton, sees a consumer-friendly waste treatment solution for today's "take, use, put away" model, and at the same time seems a more cost-effective alternative to conventional recycling. "You can have local material sources and a fast-oriented supply chain," he says.

adidas in cooperation with Parley, a New York move against the pollution of the seas with plastic, produced plastic sports shoes collected from the sea. Adidas predicts that by 2020 all their shoes will be made of recycled plastic. V Procter & Gamblu Use it to make bottles of shampoo. Nike The US football team shows the power of recycling with yarn for shirts, shorts and socks made of recycled plastic. 16 plastic bottles are used in each T-shirt.

New methods of using organic waste also lead to the development of products. A group of companies successfully sells cosmetics from the skin and grape residues rich in antioxidant resveratrol.

Large brands claim that they are increasingly seeking to recover waste from concern for the environment, and on the other hand they are reacting to the escalation of pressure to reduce wastage, as well as to the threat of fines.

Soap sludge for biofuels, waste algae for better acoustics

In Europe, in the most sustainable most innovative metropolis, Vienna, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Barcelona, ​​including Paris. Inhabitants of Vienna collect autumn leaves and convert them into compost, and are converted into electricity for Viennese households by incineration. In a city compost weighing 100,000 tons, they obtain 50,000 tons of top quality compost suitable for biological farming.

For example, in the Dutch chemical group Avantium this year, a trial factory was opened, in which glucose is obtained from wood chips, a valuable raw material in the chemical industry, trying to replace the dominant gasoline for the production of biofuels.

Finnish Neste, the world's leading producer of diesel oil from waste and residues, is testing the possibility of using liquid waste plastics as a raw material for refining fuel. In 2019, industrial production trials will end, and by 2030, more than one million tonnes of plastic waste will be processed.

The Finnish company EcoEnergySF Oy manufactures biogas for transport, carbon dioxide for processing pulp and fertilizers, and solid biofuel for boilers.

In the Seamatter project, two large Spanish textile associations and an Italian Textile and Textile Institute from waste algae collected on the coast have developed a non-woven textile structure that can be used as reinforcement in acoustic insulation boards.

The port of Rotterdam uses recycled asphalt that "rejuvenates" itself with raw material obtained from pine wood processing products.

Dutch supranational branch Veolia Jacobs Douwe Egberts, a producer of coffee and other beverages, has developed a solution that allows the use of coffee roasting remnants that produces steam that is necessary for the production of coffee pulp.

bio Bean in London transforms kavo slag into biofuels (they also develop biodiesel production), and the rest into biomass or fuel. Cambridgeshire built the world's first coffee recycling plant.

The Aimplas Spanish institute is run by a consortium of four European organizations that develop bakery packaging from bakery industry waste.

The Italian designer of fashion shoes Andrea Verdura uses vegetable materials as well as materials from the recycling of fishing nets. With us fishing for fishing nets Aquafil Slovenia produces organic nylon.

Murskosobosk scented candles from edible oil

Along with the new life of rejected products and materials, social enterprises usually work with us. It was better than Murska Sobota, a year ago, to sell scented candles "Oilright", which are hand-made by people suffering from prolonged mental health problems with used cooking oil. They also sell kits so you can make a candle yourself. In the winter, sales through the online store and individual companies worked well, and in the summer this decline was used to strengthen cooperation with stores Showerin which the scented candles are for sale only. "In the Planets Shower, we will pay attention to the problem of waste edible oil, while at the same time, presenting our products, we will promote sales" – predicts Bogdan Dobnikdirector of Bolje and adds that they also produce candles for Italian and Croatian customers. "Interest is also shown by the Australian organization and the French social enterprise, which is also a registered collector of edible waste," says Dobnik. Profits will invest in the development of an environmentally friendly burial candle that can be completely redone with the packaging. "Due to the fact that more than 15 million paraffin gravestones are sold every year in Slovenia, and negative advertising is becoming more and more difficult, we rightly count on enormous market potential," says Dobnik.

Postojna distiller: ballerina from old trousers, folders from billboards

At the Postolen Society's Destolator who runs it Maja Modrijan, they make a ballerinke from old trousers and other thrown out textiles, and the packaging (sacks) are made of old curtains. They also make wallets and briefcases from billboards, hand-made paper and cardboard paper items. "Design and production is Slovenian, and the materials we process are collected locally. The guide for all products is a selective selection of materials and a technological design that emphasizes usability, durability and high quality," says Modrijanova, who also designs the products.

In cooperation with a company that manufactures one of their components, they also developed a new material to which some of the waste from their production was introduced. The distiller also offers companies the production of non-standard and promotional gifts, preferably from their waste. Next year, they intend to set up an online store and establish cooperation with several points of sale in Slovenia.

Green practices in the capital of Slovenia

The seat of the Regional Center of Waste Management in Ljubljana (RCERO) at first glance, show the company's mission. Trash Design has equipped them with bicycle rudders as hangers, bottles with chandeliers, pallet-covered walls, a conference table with wheel rims, a speaker table with carbonated oil … In the center of Ljubljana, where separately collected biodegradation is processed, they obtain the highest quality compost in the fermentation process they include the gas they use to produce electricity and heat. In addition to herbs bred by tigers, their compost can also be served to people who bring their dishes from ceramics, plastics and metal.

Sustainable practices and experiments are also supported in the municipality of Ljubljana. In the autumn of last year, in the workshops of the cultural and ecological association Smetumet, pupils from primary schools participated in the renovation and processing of old and used stools, which are currently used by a public company Power and in two primary schools.

From Japanese jade, one of the most invasive non-native plants, in cooperation with the re-generation society, the Botanical Garden, Institute of cellulose and paper and Snago was the first in the world to make paper from which he made bags and notebooks and used it for the Snagazin magazine press.

Ten reuse centers operate in Slovenia. The Ljubljana Center, which operates on the premises of Snaga, consists of a shop, sewing room and workshop. Within two years, the number of products sold increased from an average of 50 to 140 a day. At Repair Cafe, various experts and volunteers advise on repairs and product changes once a month.

Pots made of peas

In the Thinking Evegreen, the machined plastic injection machine produces pots with peas with an outstretched arm. The flowerpot planted in the garden first protects the seedlings from the parasite, and after 22 weeks becomes fertilizer, and the plant does not need fertilization, says the company. Using a sample tool they can produce from 10,000 to 20,000 ecolons a month. "We are preparing the construction of a new, optimized tool that will allow us to produce 1.5 million pots a year," says Eva Straser, co-founder of Evegreen. "This series of flower pots will be adapted to the needs of gardeners or automated planting of seedlings."

With the Polish company Biotrem, in which wheat bran produce ecocrats certified as food and used instead of plastic plates at parties, picnics, as well as in restaurants, they discuss the possibility of combining technologies and common appearance on the market with innovative products. Biotrem, Straser says, has a long-term cooperation agreement with Starbucks and provides them with products from their sales lines. "

Chairs in Ljubljana with bottles …

The Ljubljana company Donar in the production of chairs, waste utilization and high frequency compression combined with excellent industrial design instead of glue. In the case of a carpenter, the woodworker received a prestigious project with a red dot in 2013. The same recognition was given to the president by the chairman lower than the poster who was on the list of finalists of the designEurope competition; Winners will be announced at the end of November. As much as 70 percent of felt comes from the recycling of plastic bottles.

In addition to processed plastics for technical products, they are used in the company Plastika Scar also bioplastics for more glass lines, plates and containers. "As part of our total production, in which we operate for the furniture and electronics industry, we also produce own-brand products for home and recreation, recycled products or bio-based ready products make up 40 percent," they say in the company. They add that there are no suitable entry biomaterials for electronics and the furniture industry that could fully meet the quality and price requirements.

Coats in the development of products from recycled materials for the automotive industry

Carinthia Kopur With nearly a hundred employees working in the automotive industry, who want to become a leader in the field of research and development of products from recycled materials that have good acoustic, thermal insulation and fire insulation. Their products from recycled polyurethane foam and nonwoven are used by car manufacturers to ensure the strength of seats and as fillers for sound insulation. Also manufacturers of windows and doors, household appliances and wooden and brick houses are installed for acoustic and thermal insulation. Last year, they generated sales of 10 million euros in Kopur, 28 per cent more than in 2016. Exports to several European countries, most (one third of their production) to Germany, and only 6 percent sold them in Slovenia. Copur Director Dusan Gorsek he says that their account with recycled materials comes out the same as if they used new raw materials for their products. "The consumption of own by-products for new products is a competitive advantage, and its foundation is the management of necessary knowledge and continuous innovation," said Goršek.

From glass mills to glassware

In company SIJ Acroni took over the activity of Harsco Minerali in August, in which the slag has been processed since 2013 – a by-product of steel production. Processed slag is again useful in construction, road building and environmental rehabilitation. Last year, 200,000 tonnes of slag from SIJ Acrony were processed at Harsco Minerali, and from 2011 there were already 950,000 tonnes of white and black slag.

V Glass products Rogaška the acid, which is used as a polar compound for glass polishing, is transformed from waste into a usable material. Under the influence of environmental policy "not to waste" Finnish Fiskars, the owner of the glass, began selling it to a German company last year, reducing the weight of waste by 75 tons per month and significantly reducing the amount of wastewater. "The partners have entrusted us with the fact that this acid is used in the production of cleaning agents, in construction and galvanizing," he says. Tadeja Volaušek from a glass factory in which the investment for this project has been repaid in just over half a year.

Wooden windows

For many years, energy-saving windows producing the Mora Sora steelworks have been developing the production of wooden windows. This year, the ReWin "recycling" window has been recognized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and at the same time participates in the European RecAPPture project for the development of a mobile and web application that will connect the company with those who want to get rid of used wood. "We are now able to produce a series of windows made of wood," says the director Aleš Dolenc. "Of course, the amount of this production due to the demanding production of laminated timber from lumber is still quite limited." There were several inquiries, but for various reasons there were no specific orders – says director M Sore. "One of the reasons is also the price, because the production of glued wood is still much more expensive, and ecological awareness is unfortunately greatly reduced when there is a need to pay a higher price." Nevertheless, M Sori insisted that they be sure sooner or later. "We see potential in the special requirements of customers: First of all, there is a demand for used wood for furniture, carpets and building furniture on foreign markets, and our further activity will go in this direction," adds Dolenc.

When the old material gets new skin

One of the most critical waste in the world are fabrics. Dobrote from Dravograd helps people who are more resourceful in the processing of used textiles. They set up, wash, sort, cut and store used clothes in cooperation with the company Ecologists without borders a textile factory has begun to collect, exchange and process clothing. The products are washed, repaired and transferred or sold for resale. From recycled fabrics, they develop new products for the market: slippers, moth bags, bags and cloths for cleaning machines. "We see the largest market opportunities in the construction and automotive industry, in the production of insulation materials" – says the head of Textile Jure Fear and adds that in order to increase visibility or respond to the Slovenian market, he would use a Slovenian certificate for recycling companies or a circular economy.

Of course, before using waste materials, there is still a long way to enter the world of established production practices. Due to dying sources, these methods should no longer be seen as a niche opportunity, but rather as a necessity that will require more education for consumers around the world than for producers.

Listen - you will be amazed at what can come out of the basket


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