Despite decades of efforts to reduce waste and recycle, the world is only 8.6 percent circular. Building and construction activities consume almost 50 percent of all global materials annually and account for half of the solid waste entering landfills worldwide. The building industry has a key role to play in developing a sustainable materials system.
We believe that a sustainable building industry is a circular building industry, where no materials are wasted and all materials are reused.
In order to reduce waste at our manufacturing sites, DuPont has established an onsite recycling facility alongside our Tyvek® manufacturing lines in Luxembourg. The facility uses a sophisticated shredder-feeder-extruder combination system that can process all types of Tyvek® production scrap and turn it into pellets for reuse. This investment in mechanical recycling makes it easy and efficient to re-process post-industrial waste back into high-density polyethylene (HDPE) granulates for reuse.
To provide tangible circular benefits, the recycled granulates are then used to produce plastic cores around which Tyvek® can be wound for storage and shipping. We are working closely with packaging supplier Sonoco to create these winding cores. They are currently extruded in Sonoco’s facility in Germany and then returned to our manufacturing plant in Luxembourg. We then wind sheets of newly produced Tyvek® around cores produced from 100% recycled Tyvek®, whose quality is controlled through our quality management system. Additional benefits of these cores include low particle emission, strength and dimensional stability.
Tyvek® is a lightweight, protective material used in numerous applications. Its unique properties help ensure medical device packages remain sterile, provide personal protection equipment for people in hazardous or sterile environments, and protect homes from rain and other weather effects during construction.
Thanks to the material’s durability and ubiquity, DuPont has been innovating for decades to enable Tyvek® recycling pathways, such as our Tyvek® recycling program.
Plastics currently represent about 12 percent of all municipal solid waste in US landfills, resulting in the lost value of reusable materials, the potential introduction of micro- and nano-plastics into water supplies and food chains, and eventual pollution and risks to public health.
With this global challenge in mind, Tyvek® has partnered with drainage systems specialist ADS to give Tyvek® production scrap a second life. Each year, ADS recycles over half a billion pounds of plastic waste and converts it into raw material for infrastructure projects. ADS uses the recycled Tyvek® in highly engineered drainage products and services that go underground to service cities and farmland, lasting up to a century.
ADS has confirmed that the drainage products from recycled materials perform just as well as those produced from 100% new raw material. Our ongoing partnership with ADS has led to production outfall from Tyvek® manufacturing processes being used by ADS customers for a broad array of applications – from safely pre-treating and managing stormwater runoff to helping developers and property owners harvest rainwater.