Are composite materials sustainable? Here's how we're solving their hidden waste problem

Composites have proved their durability in many applications – from doors and kitchen sinks in your home to wind turbine blades and aeroplanes. But do you know the impact they have on the environment?

Because composite materials are made from binding two or more materials together, they can be difficult to recycle. Only 15% of the 110,000 tonnes of composites produced in the UK each year will be reused or recycled at end-of-life. And common composites such as carbon fibre or glass fibre use lots of fossil-based energy in their production. So, how can we keep using these incredible materials whilst reducing their impact on the planet? Dan Noakes, Grand Challenge Lead for Packaging at CPI, a deep tech innovation organisation in Teesside, UK, explores how we’re helping to make composites more sustainable: 1. Developing separating techniques to enable the raw materials to be recycled 2. Optimising the raw materials for reuse 3. Creating sustainable composites made from biopolymers rather than fossil fuels.

JEC Group is a non-profit organization entirely dedicated to promoting composite materials and fostering their applications globally. Publisher of the JEC Composites Magazine, the industry's reference magazine, JEC organizes several events around the world, including JEC World, the leading international exhibition dedicated to composites and their applications, which takes place annually in Paris. JEC media, events and digital channels connect a global community of professionals from the composites industry and beyond, to enable knowledge transfer, create networking opportunities, and highlight innovation.
JEC: Connecting the World with Composites