Press Release: Circular Economy Change Makers Meet in Manchester
- Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Textiles were the topic of the day at Manchester Metropolitan University on Thursday 12th May 2016. The EU Horizon 2020 RESYNTEX project brought together stakeholders from the local and regional textile industry to discuss how circular economy processes could revolutionise the region. With the city council currently spending around £5 million per year of taxpayers’ money disposing of unwanted textiles, addressing these issues has never been more relevant.
The day kicked off with a collaborative mapping exercise in which stakeholders identified sources of discarded textiles in the Greater Manchester region. Participants included the British Heart Foundation, i + g cohen Ltd, Rochdale Borough Council and the British Textile Recycling Association.
Nine main sources of discarded textiles were identified, and while viable markets exist for a significant percentage of all these discarded materials, it is the quantities left over, with no available solution other than landfill or incineration, that offered the greatest opportunities for innovation and environmental savings.
Stakeholders also identified how these sources were collected and dealt with. This offered key insights into how a circular economy supply chain would work alongside the region’s existing charities, textile recyclers, sorters, graders, industry players and civil society.
Sara Han from Manchester Metropolitan University said, “With over 600,000 tonnes of textiles entering into household waste streams in the region, there has never been a more important time for industry partners, civil society and research and development to work together to find a new way of dealing with the things we throw away.”
The RESYNTEX team demonstrated how new concepts and technologies could bring innovation and change into the local textiles industry. Stakeholders then worked together to identify ways in which these new ideas could be made a reality in the Greater Manchester region. The day rounded off with plans for further collaborations within the network of stakeholders to reduce the amount of textile waste entering into landfill.
RESYNTEX is a research project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 641942. It aims to develop innovative recycling processes and generate new secondary raw materials from textile waste. The project has 20 partners from across 10 different EU member states, which include industrial associations, businesses, SMEs and research institutes.
Dr David Tyler
Reader Production Technology
Manchester Metropolitan University
+44 (0)161 247 2636