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  • 1.
    Bolinius, Dämien Johann
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Siptex - Quality assurance report2022Rapport (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Siptex (Swedish Innovation Platform for Textile Sorting) is a research project funded by Sweden’s Innovation Agency's Challenge-driven innovation initiative. As a new step in the textile value chain, Siptex aims to create the conditions for increased profitability in the handling of the ever-increasing amounts of textile waste that are collected for material recycling and an increase in fibre-to-fibre recycling of textiles. 

    This report focuses on the work carried out in the work package called “Quality assurance”. There were two main goals within this work. The first goal was to enable the establishment of a range of quality assured products. The second goal was to increase the knowledge on hazardous chemicals in post-consumer textiles in general.

    Five different outbound products of specific fibre content have been developed based on market demand. The products are referred to as ReFab® by SYSAV and include Siptex sorted materials of different purities of cotton, polyester and acrylics. 

    For the quality assurance process, a method was developed to take representative textile samples from the bales of post-consumer materials, using a hay sampler and an extensive shredding process to product homogenous samples of shredded textile fibres. In the Siptex project, a total of 15 samples per bale was considered to be both practical as well as likely to give a good representation of the contents in a certain bale. This number is the result of a small pilot study which is described in this report. This method can be supplemented by a more routine analysis in which samples are taken by hand to monitor sorting efficiencies. 

    The increase the knowledge on hazardous chemicals in post-consumer textiles, the project investigated existing data on hazardous chemicals in post-consumer textiles and supplemented this with new data generated from chemical analyses on bales of Siptex sorted materials made of cotton, polyester, and acrylics. 

    The analysis of the literature data and the results from the chemical analysis of Siptex samples, indicate that compliance with REACH due to presence of hazardous chemicals, likely is not an issue in the sorted post-consumer textiles. Post-consumer textiles also seem to clear Oeko-tex and AFIRM requirements for the majority of the chemical substances on these restricted substance lists. But not all samples clear all the requirements from Oeko-tex or AFIRM. Bales with polyester materials were found to be most likely in breach of Oeoko-tex or AFIRM requirements. Three remaining challenges were identified and discussed in the report. These include the need for more standards, further development of the colour sorting process and a need for more analyses and data-sharing on hazardous substances in post-consumer textiles.

    Fulltekst (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 2.
    Dahlbom, Maja
    et al.
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Aguilar Johansson, Ida
    Billstein, Tova
    Sustainable clothing futures - Mapping of textile actors in sorting and recycling of textiles in Europe2023Rapport (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [en]

    This report is as a part of the research project Sustainable clothing futures, and have, through literature and market studies and interviews, identified actors working with sorting and recycling of textiles, with capacities of 560 000 tons and 1.3 million tons per year, respectively.

    In the interviews, it was clear that an up scale of the capacities is possible, but is depending on several factors, technological development amongst others.

    Fulltekst (pdf)
    Sustainable clothing futures - Mapping of textile actors in sorting and recycling of textiles in Europe
  • 3.
    Sandin Albertsson, Gustav
    et al.
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Lidfeldt, Matilda
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Nellström, Maja
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Does large-scale textile recycling in Europe reduce climate impact?: consequential life cycle assessment2023Rapport (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [en]

    Through an LCA that systematically considers uncertainties, we found a 92% probability that large-scale textile recycling in the EU reduces climate impact. The reduction is just over 1% of textile products' climate impact, so other measures are needed to tackle the climate challenge of textiles.

    A sensitivity analysis shows what needs to be accounted for to ensure a reduced climate impact, e.g., recycling with low climate impact and a high replacement of the production of primary fibers.

    Fulltekst (pdf)
    Leder storskalig textilåtervinning i Europa till minskad klimatpåverkan?
  • 4.
    Sandin Albertsson, Gustav
    et al.
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Lidfeldt, Matilda
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Nellström, Maja
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Strandberg, Johan
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Billstein, Tova
    IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.
    Hammar, Torun
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.
    Larsson, Mikael
    RISE Research Institutes of Sweden .
    Life cycle assessment of mechanical textile recycling in Sweden2024Rapport (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [en]

    This report presents a screening life cycle assessment (LCA) of a potential, future mechanical textile recycling system located in Sweden. The report is based on rough assumptions, data estimates and scenarios exploring the influence of uncertainties regarding, for example, the location of the recycling plant (influencing the transport distances), the need for constructing new infrastructure for the recycling plant, the need to sort the incoming feedstock, the electricity mix used at the recycling plant, and fuel type used in transports. The main conclusions of the report are as follows:

    1. The results, in terms of climate impact, energy demand, and fossil resource use, for mechanically recycled fibres, are in the lower range, or about an order of magnitude lower, compared to the results of production of primary fibres. Although the results of this kind of screening LCA of a future production system are inherently uncertain, the results strongly indicate that establishing mechanical recycling of textiles in Sweden has a high potential to contribute to reduced environmental impact in the textile sector. 

    2. As mechanically recycled fibres often rely on blending with a substantial share of primary fibres in yarn spinning, the environmental impact of the final yarn will depend on the environmental impact of the primary fibres used for blending.

    3. The studied uncertainties substantially influence the environmental impact of the recycled fibres. These uncertainties regards the location of the recycling plant (influencing the transport distances), the need to build new infrastructure for the recycling plant, the need to sort incoming feedstock, the electricity mix used at the recycling plant, and the fuel type used in transports of materials to and from the recycling plant. These parameters are important to consider when developing, designing, and operating a mechanical recycling plant in Sweden. But even with relatively long transportation distances, new infrastructure, (manual and automatic) pre-sorting, mostly fossil fuels used in transports and an electricity mix with high climate impact, the environmental impact of the mechanically recycled fibres are in the lower range of, or substantially lower than, the environmental impact of most primary fibres.

    4. The fact that mechanical recycling in Sweden is expected to be powered by an electricity grid mix with relatively low climate impact makes a big difference in terms of the climate impact. A location in a region with a grid mix with higher climate impact, such as the (current) European grid mix, would increase the climate impact of the recycled fibres with about 200 kg CO2 eq. per t fibres – which would still result in fibres with low climate impact compared to most primary fibres.

    5. The sensitivity analysis, based on a Monte Carlo analysis, showed that the climate impact results are relatively stable with regard to the distance for the transports to and from the recycling plant, the amount of electricity used in the recycling plant, and the material loss at the recycling plant. Although these are important parameters to keep track of to ensure as low climate impact as possible, they seem not to be critical for the climate-impact viability of the recycled fibres.

    The present report is based on likely circumstances and technologies available today. Potential future changes are not accounted for. Furthermore, the impact categories selected for this study relate to energy-related issues – climate impact and resource constraints – as these are expected to be the main issues of mechanical textile recycling. There are other impacts that are also important, especially when discussing the environmental impact of mechanically recycled fibres in comparison to primary biobased fibres such as – for example water deprivation and impacts on land use.

    The LCA was conducted within the BioInnovation  project “Mechanical textile recycling – Roadmap for Swedish processing capacity” and considered data and scenarios on business cases on mechanical textile recycling developed within the project. The LCA and its results were intended primarily for internal project work, but the work is made public in this report as the results may also be relevant for external actors interested in developing or investing in a future textile recycling plant within or outside of Sweden. 

    Fulltekst (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 5.
    Strömberg, Emma
    et al.
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Geidenmark Olofsson, Kristin
    Brännström, Sara
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Almasi, Alexandra Maria
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Design for recycling of products containing plastics: Pre-study: Towards a global standard which contributes to plastics circularity2024Rapport (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [en]

    Plastic materials are important within our society and are useful in many applications. However, plastics are rarely used in a sustainable or resource efficient way. The global production of plastics stands at a staggering 400 million tons, with projections indicating a tripling of this demand by 2060 unless substantial policy measures are taken. Presently, only 9% of plastic waste is being recycled, highlighting an evident inadequacy of circularity in the plastic lifecycle.

    The concept of design for recycling is frequently mentioned as a crucial step towards increased circularity of plastic materials. However, there is a lack of knowledge on the fate of plastic products at the end of the lifecycle or how the design choices can affect the recyclability of the product.One of the objectives of this project was to facilitate a dialogue between the design industry and the recycling industry in Sweden, establishing a knowledge sharing forum for different actors in the value chains. Furthermore, the project focused on identifying the challenges related to product design which inhibit the recycling of plastic material, and mapping of available guidelines that promote design for recycling concept.

    This was implemented to understand the gaps and suggest different focus areas where standardised criteria would facilitate the transition to circular management of plastic materials. To understand the challenges that the industry is facing, interviews were carried out both with different companies that use plastic materials in their products and with different recycling industries. The results from the interviews were discussed during a workshop and thereafter used to suggest design areas which can be refined into general design for recycling guidelines/criteria for plastic products, presented in this report.

    Fulltekst (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 6.
    Töpel, Mats
    et al.
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Osman, Omneya
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Almasi, Alexandra
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Geidenmark Olofsson, Kristin
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Strömberg, Emma
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Verifiering av sterilisering i processen för materialåtervinning av plast2024Rapport (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [sv]

    Den nationella plastkartläggningen  visade att år 2017 användes över 813 miljoner engångsprodukter av plast inom hälso- och sjukvården i Sverige. Den största delen av detta avfall hanteras genom förbränning, och för att minska den miljöpåverkan detta leder till har ett antal initiativ tagits för att inkludera materialet i slutna kretslopp, där plasten används i samma applikation på nytt och där materialets höga kvalité kan behållas.

    För att kunna göra det på ett säkert sätt krävs dock att materialet kan steriliseras för att vara säkert att hantera.  Detta projekt har haft som mål att ta fram en metod för att mäta den eventuella steriliseringsprocess som sker när plast återvinns i den så kallade regranuleringsprocessen. Denna process innebär att plasten mals ner och smälts vid omkring 200°C. Om denna process är effektiv för att sterilisera materialet behövs inget separat steriliseringssteg innan regranuleringen. Vi har i projektet tillsatt bakterien Bacillus atrophaeus, en organism som ofta används för verifiering av sterilisering, till regranuleringen av LDPE-plast.

    Vi har sedan utvärderat olika metoder för att extrahera DNA från det regranulerade materialet samt utvecklat en qPCR-metod för att kvantifiera antalet överlevande bakterier. På så sätt har vi försökt mäta den eventuella steriliseringen av det regranulerade plastmaterialet.Resultatet visar att det fortfarande finns svårigheter att frigöra DNA-molekylerna från plasten, och att detta steg även kan ha en negativ påverkan på DNA-kvalitén. qPCR-metoden kan detektera B. atrophaeus och visar i ett separat värmeexperiment på en förväntad steriliseringseffekt över tid.

    Denna effekt kunde dock inte reproduceras i de labbförsök som utfördes med extruder (en utrustning som används för att pressa smält plastgranulat till den profil som önskas). Ett antal möjliga förklaringar till detta, samt förslag till vidare forskning presenteras avslutningsvis i rapporten. Exempel på fortsatta forskningsfrågor som presenteras är; fördelning av bakterier i plastmassan, inneslutande av celler i plastmaterialet, steriliseringseffekt i extrudern samt metod för bestrykning av bioindikator.

    Fulltekst (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 7.
    Unsbo, Hanna
    et al.
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Strömberg, Emma
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Almasi, Alexandra Maria
    IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet.
    Increasing the circularity of high barrier flexible plastic packaging - Results from WP1: Market analysis2023Rapport (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [en]

    Plastic packaging constitutes a large part of the total plastic use in Sweden. However, only a limited fraction of all packaging put on the Swedish market each year is recycled. One of the reasons for this is the complex design of many plastic packages, which contributes to challenges when sorting, disassembling, and recycling the collected material into high-value applications. Flexible plastic packaging, namely films, used for packaging groceries/food are especially challenging when it comes to mechanical recycling. This category includes countless multi-layered film structures which often include, for example, barriers and adhesives that may affect the sorting and recycling of the material. The aim of the first work package was to conduct an initial market analysis to map and quantify the current and future use of complex high barrier laminates, both multi-material structures and mono-materials structures, on the Swedish market. The market analysis was carried out by studying available literature, both scientific and grey literature, as well as through interviews with relevant stakeholders.

    Fulltekst (pdf)
    fulltext
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