Isabel Volkidis collects five brown paper bags. “That’s what we collected in about two weeks,” Attached to this hairstylist from Brussels Salon. In these bags, hair”It is 10 cm long at most“.Those who generally fail to make wigs end up in the trash and, later, in the incinerator. Each bag weighs three to four kilograms.”Once all bags are filledAnd the Beware ASBL Dung Dong who takes care of their recoveryp., “The hair stylist continues.”Instead of returning them empty, professional distributors and brands, who are already on the road anyway, retrieve the bags, which we then store in a shed in Waremme.‘, Patrick Janssens, Founder of ASBL Concerned.
“Here, we recycle your hair”
Ms. Volkidis is one of about five hundred salons that are members of the Hair Recycling Project, led by the non-profit organization Dung Dung. The glass door reads: “We recycle your hair here.” This visual tells clients what will happen to their hair once it is cut. She says, “The hair he sweeps around all day is collected in bags provided by ASBL, which they recycle.”
“Poetry is a mind blowing material! Patrick Janssens explains. It is especially lipophilic, which means that it is able to absorb fats.“So Dung Dung, through his hair recycling project, seeks to improve them by turning them into sausages and mats that absorb… hydrocarbons.”The hair, passing through the industrial loom, is pressed and woven together, resulting in new products: 60 cm2 carpets on one side, and three-meter sausages on the other.“Mr. Janssens identifies. Thus,”One kilo of hair can absorb eight liters of oil, Shows. When waterways become polluted with oil — an oil tank leak, a car accident, etc. — these durable, domestic socks and rugs can replace the polypropylene stockings — petroleum derivatives that, once used, will be incinerated — are currently used to absorb hydrocarbons.”
to prove himself
“For example, the Del Jet River Decade alone recorded 62 pollution events in 2021”Patrick Janssens supported. Therefore, recycled, sustainable and local materials are beneficial.
This is why a partnership has been made with the Walloon Haykal and the Jumblou municipality in order to test the model in a real situation. “We still have to prove ourselves”, admits Patrick Janssens, whose venture was born just a year ago, thanks to this entrepreneur’s reversal of the circular economy from the “traditional economy” during the coronavirus crisis. In the event of conclusive results, he is looking forward to the other thirteen river decades in Walloon region.We’ve also forged partnerships with municipalities, which support salon memberships in their area, but also with professional product brands.Janssens rejoices. as potential clients,The port of Antwerp uses 7000 sausages annually …‘, he adds.
We understand that the market is probably big. So far, the association has amassed more poetry than it needs for its various development projects – four tons in one year. “We have 500 salon members out of 26000 salons in Belgium“Every year, a thousand tons of hair are cut in the country. So the raw materials must be available in sufficient quantities to meet the needs,” commented Patrick Janssens.Other sources of sustainable and circular recycling(read below).
Selling recycled products should initially enable a move towards free membership to trade fairs, suppliers of raw materials. “Even by paying membership, we gain: This project is in line with our values, our funds are smaller, and this allows us to teach respect for the environment and happy customers.‘, interspersed with Isabel Volkidis.
Hair, an inexhaustible substance that is greatly appreciated
Cut, collected, and recycled into absorbent sausages, the hair journey doesn’t stop there, at the Hair Recycling Project. First, oil is extracted from sausages saturated with hydrocarbons. This will then feed the kiln to produce concrete. The concrete in which we add … poetry said. “Hair is highly resistant – it can hold up to a million times its own weight – and has strong thermal and acoustic insulation properties”, commented Patrick Janssens, founder of the non-profit organization Dung Dung. Thus the material can be recovered many times. Will we see tomorrow poetry in the bricks of our homes? “There are strict standards in the construction industry…but all the elements are there to make it workEntrepreneur rejoices. In a few years, the hair of Brussels residents could make it possible to isolate their homes.”
Other uses are being studied by the Belgian ASBL, in particular the uses of making a biocomposite from it, ie the fiber forming a new product, such as sachets. “it’s working ! We are now looking for industrial partners who can exploit the idea locally in Belgium‘, Comments by Patrick Janssens.Keratin found in hair can also be extracted to treat burns“Advances again.”The potential of this inexhaustible and extremely local material is enormous“He continues. And that’s in countless areas.”A hundred years ago, farmers used hair to protect crops from foxes and wild boars”, laughs Patrick Janssens. Recently, several research and development projects have appeared around the world:In Switzerland we are considering making heat insulating panels; clothes in Holland. In Australia, a component of solar panels”lists.
All of these initiatives are aggregated into a “Mass of Trust” network. Born in the United States about thirty years ago, thanks to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, this company shares its experience internationally. “We follow the same logic: we have joined the Circle network and we want to spread the project.” Watch out for those who want to grab it!