Today, seven industry associations working on increasing the circularity of composite materials have published a statement highlighting the important role cement co-processing can play in treating end-of-life composite materials. 

Together, WindEurope, EuCIA, CEMBUREAUEBI, Cefic UP/VE, Cefic Epoxy Europe and Glass Fibre Europe call on policymakers to recognise these benefits and facilitate the upscaling of co-processing with a more supportive EU regulatory framework. The European Commission and the national authorities should recognise cement co-processing as a recycling process to allow the EU to foster industry growth and ensure a circular future for both the cement and composite material sectors.

Composite materials, a combination of reinforced fibres (usually glass or carbon fibres) and a polymer matrix, are known for their durability, exceptional chemical and heat resistance properties. They are therefore extensively used across various sectors including wind, marine, infrastructure, and industrial markets. 

Whilst their durability is a great advantage during their operational lifetime, recycling end-of-life composite materials has been technically challenging due to the difficulty of separating the constituent fibres and polymers. 

Cement co-processing offers a sustainable and circular solution to this challenge. Co-processing allows for the comprehensive recycling of end-of-life composite materials with glass fibres, while simultaneously mitigating climate change through the reduction of natural raw materials in cement manufacturing and the replacement of fossil energy sources. 

The seven associations are further collaborating to promote sustainable recycling approaches for the end-of-life composite materials with more actions planned in the coming months.

Professor Roberto Frassine, President of EuCIA: “Cement co-processing offers a sustainable, circular solution for end-of-life glass fibre reinforced composite materials and it supports the decarbonisation of the European construction market. Today, we unite with our partners WindEurope, CEMBUREAU, EBI, Cefic UP/VE, Cefic Epoxy Europe and Glass Fibre Europe in calling for the development of a supporting regulatory framework to overcome current barriers to the scale-up of cement co-processing of end-of-life composites.”

The position paper is available to download here.

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