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Plastic bicycle paths

The world consumes 350 million tons of plastic every year. Much of it ends up on landfills or gets incinerated. Europeans alone generate 25 million tons of plastic waste, of which only 30% is reused or recycled. Dutch company PlasticRoad wants to help to reduce this waste by building bicycle paths made from recycled plastic.

Upcycled sleeping bags for the less fortunate

Dutch humanitarian start-up Sheltersuit upcycles sleeping bags to help refugees and the homeless cope with harsh weather conditions. The firm was part of a group of six Dutch innovative companies that represented the Netherlands at the SXSW festival in the US.

Gamechanger in the world of textile dye

The textile dye industry is the world's second largest polluter of drinking water. The chemicals used during the dye process of (synthetic) textile materials, are usually drained into open waters. However, the textile industry is working to change that by creating the world’s first waterless and non-chemical textile dye plant – a leap forward in making the process more sustainable. Dutch company CleanDye has developed the world’s first machines for textile dyeing that do not use water or chemicals in the textile dye process. Instead of using water as a detergent for their colouring system, they use CO2. These machines are currently in large-scale commercial use in Taiwan and Thailand, and are considered the new standard in the textile dye industry.

Connecting the world by rail

Many exporting countries choose the Netherlands as one of the gateways into and out of Europe and the rest of the world – by road, air and sea. Although these modes of transportation create a significant amount of CO2 gasses, rail has become a sustainable alternative for cargo transport. Almost 85% of all rail freight in the Netherlands is international. And a further 2 direct cargo rail links to China were added recently.