Articles | In-Depth Analysis | Sustainability

France’s First Automated Textile Waste Recycling Plant Opens, Paving the Way for a Circular Economy

Published: January 3, 2024

Nouvelles Fibres Textiles, in partnership with Pellenc ST and ANDRITZ, has officially inaugurated France’s first industrial plant for the automated sorting and recycling of textile waste. The cutting-edge facility, located in Amplepuis, represents a significant step towards achieving the European Union’s goal of reusing textile materials by 2030.

The partnership between Nouvelles Fibres Textiles, a textile recycling company, waste sorting specialist Pellenc ST, and technology group ANDRITZ has successfully addressed the challenge of textile waste. The plant’s automated sorting line is capable of efficiently categorizing garments based on composition and color, while simultaneously removing hard components like buttons and zippers. This process enables the material to be seamlessly moved to ANDRITZ’s tearing machine for further processing.

The newly inaugurated plant will primarily focus on large-scale production, customer trials, and research and development activities. It aims to produce recycled fibres for industries such as spinning, nonwovens, and composites. Eric Bool, General Manager of Nouvelles Fibres Textiles, described the plant’s opening as a significant milestone in their mission to transform textile waste into valuable resources. Additionally, plans are already underway for the construction of a second plant capable of handling 25,000 tons of post-consumer textiles each year.

Alexandre Butte, General Manager of ANDRITZ Laroche, emphasized the company’s commitment to supporting a circular economy for textiles through their technological expertise and close collaboration with Nouvelles Fibres Textiles and Pellenc ST. The establishment of France’s first automated textile recycling plant marks a groundbreaking achievement in the pursuit of a sustainable future.

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