When taking a stroll in the countryside of North-West Europe, it’s not unusual to be faced with violet flax fields reaching the flat horizon. This traditional crop is not only easy on the eye, it has also enabled families/farmers to make a living over generations. Thanks to the favourable climate and rich soil, flax can be seen from Caen (FR) through Belgium and all the way to Amsterdam (NL). The crop is used for traditional materials such as oil, paper, rope, linen shirts and other textiles. And since April 2022, thanks to the support of Interreg North-West Europe, a surprising new application of flax was inaugurated in Almere (NL): a brand-new pedestrian bridge!
Unlike wood and many other crops, flax is a fast-growing plant, and requires neither fertilizer nor watering to be cultivated. In times of climate change and scarce raw materials, bio-composites offer a great opportunity for the construction industry with its huge CO2 footprint and immense consumption of resources.