Portugal - Leather’s circular economy credentials are clear, APIC president says
23 February 2021

The president of Portugal’s tanning industry association, APIC, Nuno Carvalho, has said a strategic plan the organisation is currently working to emphasises leather’s place in the circular economy that governments, companies and consumers insist they want to move to, reports Leatherbiz

Nuno Carvalho - APIC President

In a recent interview with the national newspaper Diário de Notícias, Mr Carvalho said: “The circular economy is ever-present in this sector and this is an idea we reinforce in the ongoing strategic plan that APIC has in place at the moment. The tanning industry and leather are intrinsically circular.”

Asked for examples, he said the tanning cluster at Alcanena in central Portugal had developed a project to convert waste from leather production into electricity. He said this could have generated enough electricity to make the cluster’s common effluent treatment plant self-sufficient in terms of energy supply. However, the local authorities opposed the plan.
Now, he said, APIC is moving forward with a proposal to use tanning waste in fertiliser production.

Mr Carvalho insisted that tanners’ commitment to circular economy principles was clear because the industry takes a by-product from the meat industry and creates value from it while, at the same time, eliminating the environmental challenge that millions of otherwise unwanted hides would create.

Nuno Carvalho is one of the industry figures to have contributed to our Leather Leaders series. You can read the interview here and listen to the audio version on the World Leather Podcast here.