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Primaloft backing for Plastics Biodegradation Laboratory

Establishing a centre for the validation of new biodegradable fibres and technologies.

15th November 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  New Bedford, MA, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Industrial

UMass Dartmouth has received a $739,936 award from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to support the development of a new research and development laboratory in New Bedford to study biodegradable and ocean-safe plastics.

The new Plastics Biodegradation Laboratory will enable efficient testing of plastic biodegradation, helping address the significant waste caused by traditional plastics used in textiles, packaging and other products that accumulate in the ocean and other water resources.

The state grant was awarded by the Collaborative Research and Development Matching Grant programme, an effort managed by the Innovation Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech), and will be paired with $1 million in match funding, more than $450,000 from private industry partners, including leading advanced materials companies such as PrimaLoft.

The Commonwealth’s capital investment will fund new lab equipment which will address material biodegradability and its environmental impact, specialising in the ocean impacts, and advancing the development of new, environmentally-sensitive products.

In addition to PrimaLoft, partners on the project include Radical Plastics of Beverly, Paramount Planet Product, UMass Boston, UMass Lowell, the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Boston-based SeaAhead, and the US Army Soldier Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center.

“With sustainability at the forefront and new biodegradable materials and technologies emerging, the need for testing and validation is paramount,” said Mike Joyce, PrimaLoft president and CEO. “Textile materials often wind up in landfills, marine environments and wastewater systems, and we’ve developed biodegradable technologies that combat this issue at the fibre level. The expertise provided by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and in particular the School for Marine Science and Technology, is a perfect fit for validation of these technologies.”


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