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Recycling of disposable and reusable health care textiles

Reference number
Coordinator RISE RESEARCH INSTITUTES OF SWEDEN AB - Biovetenskap och Material/Jordbruk och Livsmedel, Uppsala
Funding from Vinnova SEK 895 000
Project duration November 2016 - May 2017
Status Completed
Venture Circular economy
Call Circular flows - a call within circular biobased economy (pre-studies)

Purpose and goal

The purpose is finding possibilities for sustainable recycling of woven & non-woven textiles & to benefit domestic production of agrofiber as arming. The aim is to identify sustainable processes for recycling regarding environmental and social impact. Recycling of woven textile is possible adding virgin fiber ensuring quality. Chalk in non-woven material inhibits recycling by meltblown. Recycling by melting & use for other purposes is possible. It is environmentally better to recycle than incinerate. Social impacts at recycling are small or unknown compared to virgin production

Expected effects and result

Mechanical shredding of woven textiles is possible. Spinning of shredded textile is not possible due to too short fibers. There is need of Virgin fiber as arming. Hemp used as arming was of poor quality and unsuitable as arming when spinning. Non-woven materials contain chalk inhibiting recycling using melt blown technology. Environmental impact at recycling of woven and non-woven textiles are environmentally beneficial.Increased recycling does not impact social factors during manufacturing and use. There is a need to further evaluate social impacts during recycling.

Planned approach and implementation

Region Uppsala and Skåne provides material tested by Swerea IVF by mechanical shredding & spinning. Shredding works, though fiber is short and virgin fiber is added to ensure quality. Low quality hemp fibre is not suitable for arming but there are big possibilities to increase quality. Non-woven contains chalk as bulk agent & inhibits rec by melt-blown. Melting & use for other purposes is an option. System study by RISE & Swerea IVF show recycling is environmentally better than incineration. Social as working conditions etc has less influenced on recycling than on virgin production.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.

Last updated 25 November 2019

Reference number 2016-04297

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