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Euratex sets out vision to scale textile waste handling

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2022-06-27 09:00:16 – United Kingdom

European organization EURATEX’s ReHubs initiative plans to pursue fiber-to-fiber recycling for 2.5 million tons of textile waste by 2030. The ReHubs initiative brings together important European and international firms to tackle Europe's textile waste problem by converting "waste" into a resource and building up the textile circular business model.

According to the ambitious European Waste regulation, all EU Member States must independently collect textile waste by two and a half years. While several governments are developing plans to address the garbage collecting dilemma, there is presently no large-scale strategy in place to handle the material. Private households generate the majority of textile waste (85%) and roughly 99% of textile waste is produced from virgin fibers.

The press release added that they estimate that a capital expenditure investment in the region of €6 billion to €7 billion would be required to achieve a fiber-to-fiber recycling rate of roughly 18 to 26% by 2030, notably to scale up adequate sorting and processing equipment. By 2030, the yearly economic, social, and environmental value that might be realized could equal €3.5-4.5 billion. The textile recycling sector, if established and expanded, may become a successful industry with total market size of €6-8 billion and roughly 15,000 direct new employment by 2030, according to the release.

To address the European textile waste crisis and eventually activate the circular economy in the textile sector on a major scale, EURATEX established the ReHubs initiative in 2020 in conjunction with its members. The first ReHubs Techno Economic Master Study (TES) was completed in June 2022 and sheds light on crucial data, and opportunities for collaboration for the European-wide solution.

The ReHubs initiative's next phases include a European textile recycling plan outlining objectives and key results for fiber-to-fibre recycling. By 2030, there will be 2.5 million tons of textile waste; a premier collaboration center for major enterprises and SMEs spanning the whole European textile recycling value chain; a preliminary concrete portfolio of 4 launching projects:

The first project addresses current sorting technologies, which have limitations in identifying materials accurately enough for following circular recycling operations. The "Transform Waste into Feedstock" initiative will work to improve and scale such sorting technology. The project group, managed by Texaid AG, intends to construct the first 50,000 tons plant by the end of 2024.

The ReHubs initiative brings together important European and global firms to tackle Europe's textile waste problem by converting "waste" into a resource and building up the textile circular business model.

This collaboration aims to transform the social textile waste issue into a commercial opportunity while also meeting the EU's Green Deal aspirations of mandatory textile waste collection by the end of 2024 and the transition to a Circular Economy.

EURATEX launched the ReHubs initiative in 2020 to promote collaboration across the extended textile value chain while taking into account all perspectives on chemicals, fiber production, textile production, garment production, retail and distribution, textile waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

EURATEX has established three stakeholder groups to guarantee inclusion and mobilize resources: A Business Council comprised of pioneering firms to carry out the TES study; A Stakeholder Forum comprised of a larger pool of business, research, and academic participants that has met twice to provide high-level insights and promote future collaboration. A EURATEX Task Force comprised of 14 national organizations will monitor the ReHubs' progress and ensure alignment with policy and industry developments at the national level.

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