From blades to bags – how one Hull firm is helping enhance offshore wind’s green credentials

Recycling specialist MyGroup’s expansion into textile repurposing has seen an exemplar project landed on the doorstep with global giant Siemens Gamesa.

The Hull firm specialises in plastics, but has now developed a solution for the upcycling of hard-wearing poly-blend materials used to protect the blades during storage and transportation.

It comes as the focus turns to end-of-life options for a maturing industry that has found a home on the Humber – with completely recyclable components sought. Blades are being brought forward, while Saltend could provide the processes that see precious metals recovered in further inward investment.

Read more: Hull recycler launches beach waste Christmas tree for carbon-conscious corporate market

MyGroup, which is playing a major role in handling the huge volumes of waste PPE generated in the pandemic – working with high street stores – is expanding its focus on creating viable upcycling routes for textiles.

A dedicated textile team has been formed at the Stoneferry Road site, deconstructed the material, creating work and tool bags for staff members at the expanding plant.

Katie Robinson, textile technician at MyGroup, said, “The Siemens Turbine bag is a great example of our solutions – a complex, poly-based material built to last, yet when it’s retired from its original purpose, what’s next?

“We decided this material would be perfect as a tool bag because of its durability. Using in-house processes and craftsmanship, we came up with a solution to divert this material away from incineration or landfill. There really is no such thing as non-recyclable for us. Everything has another purpose. It’s our job to find and realise that purpose.”

Materials are received at the MyGroup processing plant off Stoneferry Road in Hull. (Image: MyGroup) Sewing the seeds of upcycling success: A member of the textiles team at work. (Image: MyGroup)

The design creates a circular solution for the material.

“The challenge we face with any kind of textile recycling is enormous. But hardwearing textiles designed for industrial projects are increasingly hard-to-repurpose,” Katie added. “It’s reported that 95 per cent of textiles have the potential to be recycled, yet currently less than 15 per cent is being recycled effectively.”

Plans are in place to continue experimenting with the “tricky” poly-blend textiles to create more items, such as duffel bags, tipis and shelters.

The long-term aim is to create more viable streams to divert complex poly-based textiles from landfills.

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