The textile industry is a very polluting sector of industry and known for its social challenges. Our present disposable culture enables the production of low-quality textiles, offering reduced opportunities for the reuse, repair and recycling of end-of-life textiles. Finland lacks equipment and expertise that would enable production of new textiles from end-of-life textiles. The separate collection requirement for municipal textile waste will enter into force in the entire EU area in 2025, by which time we will need to have found reuse and recycling solutions for end-of-life textiles.
A circular economy in textiles is being promoted by the Telaketju network, which comprises a wide range of organisations from various sectors within the circular economy for textiles. For example, the Telaketju network disseminates information on circular economy studies and trials implemented in the textile sector.
The reuse and recycling of end-of-life textiles is possible by means of uniform collection practices and high-quality sorting, processing and refining. Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto Oy is preparing the projects funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Regional Council of Southwest Finland and almost all municipal waste management plants that support the phased implementation of a centralised processing plant for end-of-life textiles. Partners and funding are being sought for the actual implementation of the plant, while also exploring the opportunity to establish a joint Nordic plant.