Saturday 15 June 2024
  • La Cimbali

Wastea, a new leather-like material derived from tea waste, is hitting the market

The creators: "We are only using industrial wastes with no future lifecycle. WASTEA is only made with level-4 waste which the Tea producer has to burry under 1 meter in the ground because of its high Teein contend. It can’t be used anywhere else not even for landfill or bio-energy. It waste comes dry already, we do not have to dry it."

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MILAN – The world is increasingly moving towards sustainable solutions in every sector: an example of the circular economy comes from WASTEA, a material derived from tea processing waste that can replace leather, and developed by the Turkish company Scays Group, also comes into play.

A few figures to give an overview: Turkey is the 4th largest Tea production country in the World – 90 % of Tea production will be used for the Domestic Market (only 10% for exports) -. Yearly, over 220.000 Tons of Tea production in north-eastern of this region.

Tea production (photo granted)

The Plant based percentage from the Tea industry, which is known as Class 4 Waste, it can’t be used for anything future because of its high caffeine percentage that make impossible to be used to feed animals or in the food industry. It is not even suitable to generate Bio-Energy.

So the only way to eliminate it is to burry the Tea Waste or more importantly to re-upcycle.

With this in mind, the market arrival of an environmentally sustainable alternative like WASTEA appears revolutionary. 

When and why did you come up with the idea of reusing tea waste to produce this fabric? –

“After analysing over 100 different local industrial wastes, Erdem our MD and founder came up with the idea of using Tea waste as it is the most sustainable waste we could find, and he already made a long-term deal with the company CAYKUR the Market share holder of Tea production and in the top three largest tea producers globally. The founding year with the first developments was in 2019.”

Gimoka

What tea waste did you choose to recycle and what quantities are needed to produce this fabric?

“We are only using industrial wastes with no future lifecycle. WASTEA is only made with level-4 waste which the Tea producer has to burry under 1 meter in the ground because of its high Teein contend. It can’t be used anywhere else not even for landfill or bio-energy. It waste comes dry already, we do not have to dry it.”

How much tea waste is there and what is the logistics network you rely on to collect it?

“In general we are trying to have at least 30% in average, but next year with our new innovation (secret at this point) we will have min. 60% Tea contend in the material and aiming over 95% Bio mass in the actual production based on the highest quality and durability (Automotive standard).”

The shoes made with WASTEA (photo granted)

How do you process the waste into leather?

“We are using two ways in pulverising and liquifying the waste and working over 5 layers in total (tea in three layers).”

What are the characteristics of this particular fabric?

“We have achieved the highest quality, and now we are already having new technical materials such as fire resistance, easy clean, UV light changing, different gratings, etc…”

In the same vein, you created KohiMata, with the coffee silver skin: where do you get this waste from, in what quantities and how do you process it?

The use also of coffee waste (photo granted)

“As mentioned, we are only using industrial wastes which have no future lifecycle, therefore we are using silver skin, the skin layer which comes during the rosing process of coffee beans. The suppliers are throwing it into the bin, and we made a deal that we are collecting these wastes weekly. There is enough wastes for millions of meter of KohiMata.”

Are the characteristics of the resulting fabric the same as those of Was Tea?

“Yes we are using the same production method, and aiming to have the first KohiMata Stock collection by the end of the year.”

What are the applications of both fabrics, how much do they cost and where can you buy them?

“WASTEA can be ordered per Email over future@wastea.com, with our new upcoming website, you can directly order form the online shop. KohiMata website will be online after September this year. The prices are based on linear meter 140cm x 100cm and our capacity is currently 5.000.000 meters (five million meters) per year. And prices vary from quality to quality from 9,90€ to 28,90€ per meter.”

CIMBALI

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