Eco-friendly startup develops process to recycle bulletproof vest fabric

British Army Uniforms

The Ministry of Defence announced that an environmentally conscious start-up has developed a process to recycle fibre from bulletproof vests, reducing emissions and potentially cutting costs.

The Ministry of Defence announced that London-based green tech start-up Uplift360 has developed a process to recycle the fibre from used bulletproof vests.

Uplift360 has received approximately £500,000 in funding from DASA (Defence and Security Accelerator), a division of the Ministry of Defence that identifies and funds companies that support the UK defence.

Baroness Goldie, Minister of State for Defence, commented: “The process designed by Uplift360 is a very good example of how new, intelligent thinking can transform old practices in defence.

Their innovative approach helps reduce waste, save costs and ensure supply without compromising on quality equipment for the armed forces.

“Their innovative approach has reduced waste, saved money and enabled us to secure supply without compromising the high quality of our forces’ equipment. I look forward to their important work continuing to contribute to further progress towards reducing the Ministry of Defence’s emissions.”

According to the Ministry of Defense, when soldiers’ bulletproof vests reach the end of their useful life, they are currently incinerated. Uplift360’s new process breaks down the fibers in the bulletproof vests, also known as Kevlar, a strong, heat-resistant synthetic fiber used in bulletproof vests. Kevlar is estimated to be 85 times more expensive than steel, according to the Ministry of Defense.

The Ministry of Defence said the process preserves the fibre’s strength and allows it to be recycled back into the supply chain, and the UK government has said it could deliver significant savings to defence spending in future.

Uplift360’s recycling system ensures that the recycled fibres remain “highly versatile” and can be repurposed into the supply chain for use in aircraft, land vehicles, fire and heat resistant clothing, stab and cut resistant clothing, ropes, fibre optics, backpacks, tyres and more, according to the Ministry of Defence.

Supporting Uplift360 underlines DASA’s commitment to contributing to a more sustainable future.

Jamie Meighan, CEO and co-founder of Uplift360, said of the new process: “DASA has been a huge contributor to Uplift360’s success. From concept to initial investment to developing groundbreaking technology in our labs, DASA has supported us every step of the way.”

“As a startup run by veterans and their spouses, it was critical from the beginning to find the funding, mentorship and support that understood our business, saw the potential of our technology and believed in it.

“Supporting Uplift360 underscores DASA’s commitment to helping deliver a more sustainable future, maintain resilience and save defense money.”

The Ministry of Defence says it continues to support the government’s net zero target while maintaining military capability through initiatives such as using sustainable aviation fuel, electric vehicles and trialling solar power plants.

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