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AIMPLAS & partners launch CISUTAC project on circular and sustainable textiles

Boosting textile circularity in Europe

The new Horizon Europe project CISUTAC will support the transition to a circular and sustainable textile sector. The project, carried out by a consortium of 27 partners, will cover most parts of the textile sector. It will work on two material groups representing almost 90% of all textile fibre materials (polyester, and cotton/cellulosic fibres) and focus on products from three sub-sectors experiencing varying circularity bottlenecks (fashion garments, sports and outdoor goods, and workwear).

CISUTAC will take a holistic approach covering the technical, sectoral and socio-economic dimensions, and three pilot schemes will demonstrate the feasibility and value of repair and disassembly, sorting (for reuse and recycling), circular garments through fibre-to-fibre recycling, and design for circularity. The consortium partners will accordingly develop semi-automated workstations, analyse the infrastructure and material flows, digitally enhance sorting operations (for reuse and recycling), and raise awareness among consumers and the textile industry.

As part of the CISUTAC consortium, the Plastics Technology Centre AIMPLAS will contribute its expertise in the extraction technology for removing inks, dyes and other surface contaminants. This will enable large-scale thermoplastic recycling of polyester textiles and allow a wider range of textile waste to be used as input material because of the integrated purification and decontamination process.

CISUTAC has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101060375. It started on 1 September 2022 and will run for 48 months. Led by Centexbel, the Belgian research centre for textiles and plastics, the CISUTAC consortium is EU-wide including global leading brands and companies and EU associations. The consortium's diversity enables it to cover all required expertise and infrastructure over the full novel circular value chain.