SWEDEN: Södra to make textile recycling a reality using wood fibers

October 28, 2019 |

In Sweden, one of the major obstacles to textile recycling is that the fabrics are often made from blended materials. Södra’s new technique can separate the cotton and polyester in polycotton blends, which are one of the most widely used textiles on the market. The pure cotton fibers are then added to our wood-derived textile pulp, which can then be used to make new textiles.

During the autumn, Södra’s pulp mill at Mörrum produced pulp by adding 20 tons of used textiles. At present, Södra can only accept white textiles, but the aim is to also find a decoloring solution. The goal is also to investigate the possibility of extracting a stream of residual products from the polyester. Swedish laundry and textile service provider Berendsen delivered the test material used in the pilot project comprising end-of-life sheets, towels, tablecloths and bathrobes from hospitals and hotels.

Production will commence at a low rate of 30 tonnes this year, but the long-term target is to add 25,000 tonnes of textiles to the company’s pulp production.

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