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Stringent environmental legislation and consumer awareness are driving the transition to a bio-based economy and models of sustainable development which offer high perspectives for natural fibre markets.

Stringent environmental legislation and consumer awareness are driving the transition to a bio-based economy and models of sustainable development which offer high perspectives for natural fibre markets. Moving to a bio-based economy requires substitution of many common raw materials that are currently largely produced from fossil (petrochemical) or mineral resources, with products produced from renewable (plant and animal based) resources.

Substitute to synthetics

Natural fibres are increasingly being recognized as a favorable substitute to synthetics which use unsustainable inputs. Aside from technical and cost advantages, such products have the added attraction of meeting growing consumer awareness with respect to environmental, sustainability and social standards contributing to:

• Encouraging the growth of sustainable agriculture
• Uptake of environmentally friendly production and processing technologies
• Fostering economic development
• Strengthening the participation of smallholders in the value chain

The hard fibres: Acaba, Coir and Sisal, and bast fibres: Jute and Kenaf, are all natural fibres which have various and multiple end uses. Their versatility and environmentally friendly characteristics are strong advantages over synthetic alternatives. Each of the fibres has their particular strengths but all have the benefit of being naturally derived and increasingly recognised as a sustainable choice.

Technical and economic benefits

Research is increasingly demonstrating the technical and economic benefits of including natural components in industrial products. Therefore, competitive products based on the natural fibres are being developed that show excellent technical performance and harm the environment less than current products based on petrochemical materials. Fibre composites can be found in packaging, building, and furniture materials in addition to the traditional products such as rope, twine and carpets. The economic value of the fibre crop depends on its end-use market and costs of production.

New opportunities

As the popularity of natural fibres in industrial uses expands there are new opportunities for hard fibres and jute to reach high end value markets. The scope of possible uses of the future fibres is enormous. This has been recently highlighted by the declaration of United Nations for 2009 as International Year of Natural Fibres (IYNF).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 1-)
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  •  Interesting diary (0+ / 0-)

    Fibre is very British.  Fiber is the American way.

    One stupid question.  Do you have an opinion on The Sustainability Consortium?

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:48:20 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

    but this appears to be nothing but a press release for your business group Crown Capital Management; going on to the business website your group is notably unclear on exactly what you even DO except that you want people to believe that it's "Eco" in some way.  I can't really figure out how, though, since two out of three articles are in some way attacking green energy projects.

    While many Kossacks are quite interested in natural alternatives to petrochemical products, this diary reads not only like a press release, but a very bad one.  Please take the time to consider our interests and provide real information if you want to stay here.  Sales pitches should be titled with "SSP (Shameless Self-Promotion)" and diaried very sparingly, only after you have established yourself as a community member.

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