Friday, March 26, 2021

Interview: Laure JANDET, fishing nets transformed into filament for 3D printing.

Interview: Laure JANDET, fishing nets transformed into filament for 3D printing.
Interview rich in ambition with Laure JANDET, founder of ValorYeu, which offers spools of filament for 3D printing in 100% recycled PA6 and wishes to meet environmental expectations which are to recycle 100% of plastics by 2025. As she explains: "My company is young but we have to move fast, the environmental emergency cannot wait".
portraitde laure jandet
Introduce yourself and tell us how the idea of founding ValorYeu came about?

I am defined as a committed and determined entrepreneur. I started my activity in cybersecurity* consulting and in the accompaniment of ecological transition projects in La Chapelle sur Erdre, where I invested myself as president of the business association (ECE) for 2 years. In 2017, during an amateur fishing trip with my father, we wondered about the recycling of fishing nets. We got information from the fish market and found that there was no local or even national network to collect the nets and give them a second life: the idea of the ValorYeu project was born.
After an R&D phase conducted in partnership with ICAM Nantes (co-financed by ADEME Pays de la Loire), I set up ValorYeu as close as possible to my roots and close to sources of used nets. The tests were conclusive and enabled me to develop a solution for recycling fine polyamide 6 fishing nets (better known as "nylon"). The nets are transformed into high added value products: consumables for 3D printing, objects and technical parts. With the support of the Pays de la Loire Region, the commune of Ile d'Yeu and the fishermen, I am launching my first preparation and valorisation chain this spring. As the health crisis disrupted the initial schedule, we had to change the development site twice and I am proud to have finally moved the company to Yeu Island. ICAM and industrial partners continue to support me in the success of this circular economy project with strong territorial roots.

Why is it important to combine 3D printing and "recycling"?

3D printing is full of promise! It is becoming more and more democratic and makes it possible to manufacture objects and components easily and locally in many fields that we are experimenting with: health (door elbow pads for hospitals in the process of being created, visors, prototype valves for respirators), furniture (integration of an antibacterial/antifungal agent for sanitary requirements), textiles (tests of 3D printed buttons), repairs (technical parts for the naval and yachting industry)...
But beware of the "rebound effect"! If the development of 3D printing leads to more use of virgin plastic from petroleum resources, this is not in line with the ecological transition which is our current collective challenge. The plastics sector has understood this and has been committed for several years to the more consistent use of recycled materials and the improvement of waste collection, in order to reduce the use of natural resources, particularly oil extraction.
This is why ValorYeu offers filament spools for 3D printing made of 100% recycled PA6. Today we are working with Longchamp, the French family leather goods company which is looking to become more involved in the circular economy, such as reusing its production off-cuts to put them back into the circuit as raw material for new projects... and imagining integrating ValorYeu's 3D filament spools made of fishnets into this process.
We are also testing the manufacture of objects (this time in injection) such as oyster plates with oyster farmers or technical parts for water sports. The port of La Rochelle was the first to commission us to turn this waste into resources. Then this month we signed a commitment with the Port of La Turballe - Le Croisic in order to respond to their problem of combining fishing and yachting activities by giving a second life to the nets with a local industry. What is important in all these project developments is the fact that we are always going further in our circular economy approach ... for example, by planning in 2021 to make our first supply of fishing nets from the Loire Atlantique (La Turballe / Le Croisic) with a transport only by sail to the Ile d'Yeu ... And we can't wait!

What are the advantages of giving "a second life" to fishing nets?

Used fishing nets represent almost 10% of the plastic pollution found on the ocean floor, i.e. 640,000 tonnes/year worldwide (800 tonnes for France), which pollutes marine ecosystems. Processing them also generates pollution, as the nets are often buried or incinerated, while material recycling is only just beginning.
With its circular economy roadmap, France has set itself the goal of recycling 100% of plastics in just 4 years! For fishing, the selective collection of various port wastes is being set up and an eco-organisation for used fishing gear will be created by the end of 2024 at the latest. It is therefore a national challenge: robust and capable material recycling organisations and processes must be developed very quickly. And above all, it must be done in partnership with fishermen and the trades linked to fishing, in particular the "de-banding" women who have mastered the art of removing the bolts and sewn ropes to separate and prepare the nets for use for generations. This is why the regional sea fishing committee (COREPEM) supports ValorYeu and why the first achievement is to close the loop "from the sea to the plate" by offering reusable and solidarity-based eco-sourced oyster plates: ValorYeu also makes a donation to the Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM) for each plate sold. Although it is not yet technically and economically possible to recycle the material to make new fishing nets, this may be the case in the medium term?

Can this recycled material be used on any 3D machine?

Tests with our specialist partners have validated the quality of our 100% recycled Polyamide 6 (PA6, more commonly known as Nylon) material in the form of filaments for 3D printing. PA6 has very good wear properties, stiffness, hardness and fatigue resistance. It is mainly used for its impact resistance and its resistance to chemicals (particularly hydrocarbons). It is one of the 3 most used plastics after PLA and ABS. Nylon can be used to print all types of objects and is often used in the automotive industry. Glass or carbon fibre can be added to increase its mechanical resistance. Its processing temperature and properties make it compatible with all printers on the market with a heating plate at least 80°.
We confirm that our 3D filament is printable without difficulty under the printing conditions of a PA6. However, it is preferable to print it in a closed enclosure. For an optimal result, we recommend the printing parameters listed in our specifications and technical data sheet.
This is an asset and is also the reason for our company's positioning with industrialists wishing to concretely enhance their CSR approach.

What is the main target of ValorYeu?

I am looking for partners and customers who share ValorYeu's values and are seeking to reduce their environmental impact by substituting virgin plastic with recycled plastic of known origin in their products. Our project is part of the circular economy: it is entrepreneurial, territorial and ecological. This is why I am bringing on board fishermen and those involved in the fishing industry, local authorities (Ile d'Yeu, La Rochelle, La Turballe - Le Croisic, the Pays de la Loire region), technical and academic partners.

How do you see VALORYEU in the years to come (your future projects)?

I am continuing my contacts to extend the field of application of my material and am studying the collection and recovery of other materials. I would like the know-how that ValorYeu is gradually developing to enable fishermen to recycle more materials. This is a profession subject to strong economic and environmental constraints, and anything that can contribute to its resilience is vitally important, especially in a small area like Yeu Island.
My company is young, but we have to move fast, the environmental emergency is not waiting and the commitments made by France set us a course, very close to 2025. ValorYeu is about beautiful encounters and the pride of a useful project. I would like ValorYeu to evolve towards the status of a company with a mission, a possibility introduced in 2019 by the "Pact" law on the growth and transformation of companies. In order to develop my business, recycle more fishing nets and act against ocean pollution, I plan to create technical jobs in 2022 and to have people in work integration on the island of Yeu. I hope to be able to create a link with training organisations and schools to train people directly on the Ile d'Yeu instead of seeing people with ambitions to find new professional activities (cyber consultancy or plastics processing) leave for the "continent".

Digital technology is developing at great speed in organisations and in view of the associated security issues, ValorYeu has developed a partnership with the company Wallack in order to support its clients in their digital security.