Final Conference Brings Together Experts to Discuss Project Insights and Future of Recycling
- Thursday, 09 May 2019
Capping four years of research and stakeholder engagement, the RESYNTEX Final Conference took place in April. Attended by experts from the chemical, textiles, plastics and recycling industries, the event in Brussels saw different value chains come together to consider and discuss how to recycle natural and synthetic fibres.
The event was hosted by the European Textile Technology Platform (Textile ETP) as part of its Annual Conference. Keynote speaker Janez Potočnik, former EU Commissioner for Research and Environmental Policies, offered a broad look at the opportunities and challenges of the Circular Economy. He stressed the importance of addressing global resource challenges, stating that the textiles and fashion sector must make its contribution to responsible management of crucial resources such as land, water and materials.
Project partners highlighted the wide scope of RESYNTEX’s research in a session of presentations. Aleksandra Lobnik, from the University of Maribor and project co-ordinator IOS (Institute for Environmental Protection and Sensors) introduced the project goals alongside Richard Delahay from Sustainability Consult. Prospex Institute, Quantis and the National Technical University of Athens presented their main findings from their studies. Topics included:
- The biochemical process, including decolourisation of fibres and pathways for PET
- Development of a pilot plant and complete repossessing line for mixed textiles and blended fibres
- A lifecycle analysis of biochemical textile recycling technology
- Key insights, from citizens, textile collectors & sorters and developers of innovative materials, on the project’s potential
Afterwards, a panel discussion took place on the recycling of textiles and polymer-based waste. Nicholas Hall, Senior Lecturer on Fashion Business from Manchester Metropolitan University, and Mauro Scalia, Director of Sustainable Businesses at EURATEX, represented RESYNTEX’s consortium on the panel which was chaired by Martin Winter, Innovation Manager at Cefic.
Inari Seppä, Director of Corporate Innovation at Eastman Chemicals Company, also joined the discussion with Paolo Sandri, Policy Officer at the European Commission. Ms Seppä said that, ‘Mechanical recycling is not enough. We have to start investing more in chemical recycling. Everybody has to work together’.
All presentations are available from the Downloads page.
*Photos courtesy of Textile ETP, photo credit: Fred Beard Photography.