Business Finland has granted Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto (LSJH) 5.2 M€ of circular economy investment aid for building a full-scale, end-of-life textile refinement plant in Turku, Finland. When the plant is ready, Finland will be the first country in the world where post-consumer textiles are obtained nationwide for reuse and recycling.
Textile refinement plant with focus on household end-of-life textiles
The refinement plant, planned to be in operation by 2025, will process household end-of-life textiles that the local waste management companies have collected from their respective regions. LSJH is responsible for organising the collection within Southwest Finland as well as for coordinating and developing a national model of operation for the collection of post-consumer textiles. This will be done in collaboration with other municipality-owned waste management companies in Finland.
In the end-of-life textile refinement plant, post-consumer textiles are sorted in a partly automated processing line into different material types, some of which will be directed to be reused as such, while others will be mechanically processed into recycled fibre. The fibre can be used as raw material in new products, such as thread, various non-woven fabrics, insulation materials and fillings, acoustic boards, filter fabrics and composites.
Building an ecosystem of waste management companies and other stakeholders
According to LSJH CEO Jukka Heikkilä, all Finnish municipalities and their waste management companies can deliver their post-consumer textiles to be processed at the LSJH plant in Topinpuisto, Turku. All businesses will also have an equal opportunity to use the recycled raw material produced at the refinement plant in the production of their own products.
The end-of-life textile refinement plant is estimated to employ approximately 100 people by 2025. Based on the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland’s calculations, the new domestic textile ecosystem is estimated to create as many as 17,000 new jobs in Finland.
LSJH has been establishing utilisation solutions for end-of-life textiles since 2012. Currently, post-consumer textile refinement is being developed at LSJH’s industrial scale testing facility in Paimio. The plant started operating in November 2021. Post-consumer textiles collected from the regions of 10 municipal waste management companies, are already processed in Paimio. The experiences from the pilot line in Paimio will be utilised in the planning and advancement of the new refinement plant.
Spinverse supported LSJH during the funding application process
Spinverse funding experts supported LSJH in preparing their successful funding application for Business Finland. Service Planner Marko Kokkonen from LSJH says: "Collaboration with Spinverse during the project application phase was very smooth and for its part, helped us at LSJH to achieve this important milestone to accelerate the circular economy for post-consumer end-of-life textiles.”
Director and team leader for Bioeconomy and circular economy Kaisu Leppänen at Spinverse concludes: “The total investment of 20.5 M€ into this project will considerably increase the recycling of textile waste in our country and enable Finland to take a leading role in the transformation towards circular textiles economy.”
More information: LSJH press release 10.1.2022