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RESYNTEX Report Summary

Project ID: 641942
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - RESYNTEX (A new circular economy concept: from textile waste towards chemical and textile industries feedstock)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

RESYNTEX aims to create a new circular economy concept for the textile and chemical industries. Through industrial symbiosis, the project aims to produce secondary raw materials from textile waste.
The RESYNTEX project will:
• Create a strategic design for a complete value chain from textile waste collection through to the generation of new feedstock for chemicals and textiles
• Improve post-consumer collection approaches and increase public awareness of and social involvement with the issue of textile waste
• Enable traceability of waste processing using data aggregation. The collected data will evaluate the performance of the new value chains by means of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC), compared to existing end-of-life scenarios
• Develop innovative business models for the chemical and textile industries
• Develop and demonstrate a semi-automated sorting and cleaning of textiles for biochemical processes
• Demonstrate a complete reprocessing line for basic textile components, including liquid and solid waste treatment

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Until month 30, the project consortium has worked towards the achievement of the following project objectives in accordance with the planned activities and results set in the Grant Agreement in the following manner:

1) A strategic design of the whole value chain from textile waste collection towards new marketable feedstocks for chemical & textile industries
Towards this objective, the team explored and studied the main elements that shape the symbiotic relationship between textile waste collection, the processing and recycling of textile waste and the marketable feedstocks for the chemical & textile industries generated. A validation workshop as well as a symbiosis scenarios report focused towards identifying and assessing scenarios for commercially successful and societally impactful textile-chemistry symbiosis within and beyond the RESYNTEX project. The discussions focused, among other things, on the influence of designers, product developers and manufacturers on the end of life scenario of a textile product.

2) Improvement of collection approaches particularly for non-wearable textiles for recycling by changing citizen’s behaviour and creating tools for higher social involvement and recycling promotion.
Several stakeholder workshops have taken place in different European cities. The discussions brought to the project a wide range of viewpoints, experiences, interests and sensitivities which helped to identify different and partly new textile waste streams suitable for the RESYNTEX processes, obstacles towards their collection as well as possible solutions. The stakeholder workshops were followed by citizen labs designed to gather information on consumers' attitudes and behaviours related to textile collection and recycling. The participants provided responses to questions relating to reasons for discarding garments, preferred disposal routes, and the sources of information that influenced their actions. Furthermore,the “WhatUWear” mobile application was launched on Google Store as a beta-version to test acceptability and interest of consumers.

3)Development of a data aggregation system to ensure waste traceability and to provide relevant data for economic and environmental assessment
A RESYNTEX Data Aggregator (RDA) was designed and implemented in order to collect and effectively work with any data generated within RESYNTEX and to make it available and usable to the RESYNTEX Consortium members and external stakeholders.

4) Development of new business models for the RESYNTEX processes and feedstocks
The team worked on a preliminary Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a preliminary Life Cycle Costing (LCC), and a preliminary definition and evaluation of business scenarios.
At this stage, the combined analysis of LCA and LCC results allowed i) to draft some first conclusions on the most promising recycling routes and ii) to understand the main contributors to the environmental impacts and to the total costs, which in turn allowed identifying key leads for the improvement and optimization of the biochemical processes. The first evaluation of potential business scenarios further provided a preliminary assessment of the marketability of the different RESYNTEX feedstocks. Among other things, this evaluation indicated the opportunities of a textile-to-textile recycling route for cellulosic material which will be further evaluated in the coming months.

5) Automation of the sorting and cleaning of pure or blended textiles, in order to enhance productivity and competitiveness of the whole recycling process
During the reporting period, the automated textile cleaning part of the overall pre-treatment line has been further tested and optimized. Large-scale test results show that a yield of approx. 85% clean textile material along with a purity of approximately 99% can be achieved. The NIR-based textile sorting, on the other hand, has progressed with respect to the detection of smaller percentages of elastane and the recog

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

RESYNTEX is bringing a potential impact to the new recycling technology (according to the EU waste directive of 2008 (2008/98/EC) dealing with unique textile waste technology based on cascading chemical/enzymatic processes to produce secondary feedstock for the chemical/textile industry.
According to this directive, the recycling of materials is preferred over landfilling or energy recovery through incineration. RESYNTEX is working on a reinforcement of the eco-industry landscape in Europe. The involvement of institutional organization is important and will ensure the emergence of new standards and codes for textile waste collection, more incentives for textile waste collection and better acceptance of textile waste as chemical feedstock. RESYNTEX is evaluating citizens/ consumers awareness for innovative eco-solutions. New data collection tools, associated with LCA & LCC methods will contribute to the definition of new business models and market replication strategies. RESYNTEX vision is to become a leading approach in the textile circular economy.

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