Portugal recently released for public consultation its Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), which provides for €150 million to promote incorporation of bio-based materials in the textile and clothing, footwear and resins sectors. The planned investment aims to support 30 research, development and innovation projects and 40 industrial property registration applications.
In the textile and clothing sector, the aim is to develop new production processes for textile articles, “from bio-based raw materials, incorporating forest biomass (cellulose and lignin) and alternative natural fibres from the agri-food sector (fibres from pineapple and banana leaves, hemp, rice cane, among others)”.
The plan plans to contribute to 55 members per year joining the resin tappers programme and providing financial support for the improvement of 8,000 hectares of maritime pine woods with potential for resin tappers.
“The main purpose of this investment, which the Environmental Fund will implement, will be to incorporate biobased materials (as an alternative to fossil-based materials) in three sectors of national economic activity, ensuring greater competitiveness and contribute to the transition to carbon neutrality fairly and cohesively, essential for the achievement of environmental and economic goals in a sustainable way,” the document said.
It is also intended to improve that sector in terms of circularity, “promoting innovative business models based on the reprocessing of biological, recycled and reused raw materials.”
In the footwear sector, the investment is based on promoting the use and recycling of “agro-food or industrial by-products and bio-waste” and the “development of new concepts of bio and eco products with higher added value”.
Regarding the resin sector, the aim is to foster the production of natural resin, with initiatives to increase its production and ensure “levels of self-supply to the industry and catalyse sustainable forest management, reduce the risk of fire and contribute to the development of the rural world”.