Converting textile waste into valuable feedstock
The EU textile industry generates waste estimated at 16 million tons per year. Up to 80% of the post- consumer textile waste is not collected and recycled but ends in landfills. The RESYNTEX research project aims to create a new circular economy for the textile and chemical industries, by producing secondary raw materials from unwearable textile waste.
A pilot textile recycling plant with a capacity to recycle 500 tonnes of textiles a year will be built as part of this project. The sorted textile waste is chemically treated to extract resources such as protein-based fibres for producing wood-panel adhesives, and cellulosic fibres for producing bioethanol. Further recovery treatments also produce new chemicals and plastic bottles.
The project is financed by the EU’s Horizon 2020 program and is run by a multi-sector consortium of 20 project partners from across ten different EU member states, including trade associations, corporations, SMEs and research institutes.
Associated SDG targets
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Horizon Europe: next EU Framework Programme for Innovation
EU Framework Programmes (FP) for Research and Innovation (R&I) are unique instruments for boosting European competitiveness. The current EU Framework Programme, Horizon 2020, runs until the end of 2020. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.
Circular Economy 2.0
In 2015, the European Commission published its Circular Economy package to promote the transition from a linear economy into a circular economy, where resource efficiency is increased and the value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible. When a product reaches the end of its life, options such re-use, remanufacturing and recycling can be explored to create additional value. Circular Economy can bring forth economic benefits, by contributing to growth and job creation and stimulating innovation, and in parallel provide environmental benefits.