Camera/Edit: Elias Bötticher
Media release – Zurich, June 1, 2022
FREITAG SENDS THE TARP OF THE FUTURE ON ITS FIRST TEST RUN
FREITAG is working with various industrial partners to develop a truck tarpaulin that, even after a long second life as a FREITAG bag, doesn’t end up in the garbage but back in the cycle. Research is in progress with various material combinations, each with its own unique advantages and the potential to meet exacting demands in terms of circularity and robustness. Something that only a short while ago was considered a big idea is being put into action: The very first prototype of a circular tarp is now into its first round of testing by being mounted on a small truck.
Just under two years ago, FREITAG initiated the development of a new kind of tarpaulin that would fully meet circularity criteria. Like the bags that would one day be made from it, the new material would not be merely recycled but also endlessly recyclable. And that means the tarps must first withstand the harsh conditions encountered on Europe’s transit routes. Subsequently, like their predecessors, they will be used as the source of unique, durable FREITAG products. But at the end of their days as bags, they shouldn’t have to be burned. The idea is that they should be broken down into their basic constituents and used again to create new items.
For its venture into the industry upstream of its bag-making business, FREITAG has strengthened itself internally with materials experts and circularity specialists. We found a wide range of interested industrial partners with knowledge of materials, chemicals and composites. And then we brought them together at a round table with the German EPEA’s circularity experts and long-standing partners from the tarpaulin business. At this phase of the project, FREITAG saw and continues to see itself mainly as a matchmaker and spiritual co-driver of the great tarp revolution.
Like a conventional tarpaulin, the new circular version will consist of a robust fabric with a water- and dirt-repellent coating. What precisely these two components will consist of is the all-important question. First and foremost, the new tarp will have to withstand the rigors of being on the road. After that, it must be possible to revert it to its basic building blocks and reuse them to make something new. As the project unfolded, various development approaches with different partners and combinations of fabrics and coatings emerged. These were further developed, tested, discarded and supplemented by the parties involved.
Heytex is proud to be part of this great project together with a cross-industry collective.