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Solution by: Wet-green

Olive-Based Leather Tanning  Wet-green has developed a natural leather tanning agent from discarded olive leaves that reduces water and waste generation while benefiting worker health and local air quality.

SOCIAL The tanning agent is free of chemicals, which greatly improves health conditions across the entire value chain.

THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE

ENVIRONMENTAL Wet-green uses discarded leaves from olive production as a renewable resource substituting for polluting tanning agents.

ECONOMIC According to wet-green, the material has superb dyeing behavior, which leads to cost savings for dyestuffs.

Wet-green uses extracts from olive leaves as a tanning agent to convert raw hides or skins into leather. During the olive harvest and pruning, leaves account for approximately 10% of the harvest weight. The leaves, which olive farmers sometimes burn to get rid of, are considered a by-product of the process. The wet-green tanning agent is recovered from the leaves using a method similar to brewing tea. Conventional chrome-based tanning methods use a lot of water, generate solid waste, and cause air and worker health problems, yet still account for 90% of tanning production in USA.1 Substituting chrome with wet-green’s olive tanning agent reduces the proportion of harmful chemicals used in the leather production.

WHY A SUSTAINIA100 SOLUTION? Nearly 12,000,000 tons of olives are harvested every year in Europe, which results in 30 million tons of olive by-product materials from the Mediterranean region alone, according to the company. The wet-green tanning solution can rid olive-growing regions of an unwanted by-product and help protect the environment and production workers from hazardous chemicals.

 DEVELOPED IN ...

GERMANY

Wet-green turns extracts from olive leaves that are by-products from the harvest into sustainable leather products.

DEPLOYED IN ...

GERMANY, SLOVAKIA, ITALY, DENMARK, SWEDEN, AND NORWAY

1

US EPA. “Environmentally Friendly Leather Tanning Using Enzymes.” Online: www.epa.gov

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Sustainia100 2015