New project on circular & sustainable textiles

The appeal for brands to use recycled plastic water bottles to make their gear is simple: recycling, they say, is a more earth-friendly alternative. And though bottles aren’t the only form of plastic being recycled into clothing, they are one of the most popular.

The new Horizon Europe project CISUTAC wants to support the transition to a circular and sustainable textile sector.

As part of a consortium of 27 partners working on the project, Aimplas will focus on the extraction of contaminants and deinking of recycled polyester garments at pilot scale with solvent and non-solvent technologies.

The production and consumption of textile products continue to grow, together with their impact on the environment, due to a lack of reuse, repair and recycling of materials. Quality, durability, and recyclability are often not being set as priorities in the design and manufacturing of clothing (EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles, March 2022).

CISUTAC aims to remove current bottlenecks in order to increase textile circularity in Europe. The objective is to minimise the sector’s total environmental impact by developing sustainable, novel, and inclusive large-scale European value chains.

The project will cover most parts of the textile sector by working on 2 material groups representing almost 90% of all textile fibre materials (polyester, and cotton/cellulosic fibres), and focusing on products from 3 sub-sectors experiencing varying circularity bottlenecks (fashion garments, sports and outdoor goods, and workwear).

CISUTAC will follow a holistic approach covering the technical, sectoral and socio-economic aspects, and will perform 3 pilots to demonstrate the feasibility and value of repair and disassembly, sorting (for reuse and recycling), circular garments through fibre-to-fibre recycling and design for circularity

To realise these pilots, the consortium partners will develop semi-automated workstations, analyse the infrastructure and material flows, digitally enhance sorting operations (for reuse and recycling), and raise awareness among the consumers and the textile industry.

As part of the CISUTAC consortium, AIMPLAS will contribute its expertise in the extraction technology for removal of inks, dyes and other surface contaminations. This will enable large scale thermoplastic recycling of polyester textile and allow a wider range of textile waste to be used as input material because of the integrated purification and decontamination step.

This article is republished from Recycling Magazine under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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