World’s first automated textile waste sorting facility
Sweden will build the first automated textile sorting plant which will take the textile industry one step closer to achieve circularity.
The textile sector is on the spot since it has one of the highest global impact on the environment. It is estimated that only 5% of the more that 12 000 tonnes of textiles put in the market in Sweden are recycled. Among other reasons, the low textile recycling rates are due to the fact that manual textile sorting does not fulfil the requirements neither from the textile recycling industry nor from the fashion industry.
SYSAV, a recycling company owned by 14 municipalities in the South of Sweden, has decided to invest on the construction of the world’s first automated textile recycling facility on industrial scale that will contribute to increase textile material recycling. The project is a collaboration within 21 Swedish textile, furniture and fashion companies, municipalities, authorities, charities and the Swedish Environmental Institute (IVL) in what is called the Swedish Innovation Platform for Textile Sorting project – SIPTex. The project been also been partially financed with SEK 22 million by the Swedish R&D agency Vinnova.
The SIPTex plant will use optical sensor to sort out textiles based on different fibre content and colour. The plant will have a capacity to sort 16 000 tons of textile waste per year and it will be run by 7 people in 2 shifts; it will be located in Malmö, in the south of Sweden, and it is expected to be under operation in summer 2020.
With this plant Sweden keeps working on contributing with sustainable solutions for waste treatment for the future.