The Challenges in Achieving a Circular Economy within Leather Recycling

Research Area:
Remanufacturing and Recycling


Procedia CIRP

SMART Authors:
Shahin Rahimifard , Tegan Pringle

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Over the past two decades there has been a rapid growth in tanning and leather manufacturing in developing countries, an undesirable by-product of this is an increase in waste associated with leather products. End-of-life management options for leather products are often limited to incineration or landfill; these carry a range of environmentally damaging impacts. This indicates a need for an urgent diversion towards material recycling in order to prevent further environmental degradation. This paper investigates a number of interdependent and complex challenges in implementation of a circular economy approach within leather industry. These challenges range from achieving economy of scale required for commercial viability and finding secondary markets for the recycled materials to developing ‘resource efficient recycling processes’ that are especially tailored to the specific needs of leather products.

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