In all Nordic countries there is a great potential for increased reuse and recycling of textiles ending up in the residual waste streams. In all countries there is a collection based mainly on volunteer activity and reuse of textiles. In order to develop more resource efficient systems there is a need to collect more textiles and ensure optimal solutions for sorting and reuse/recycling. Textiles more suitable for recycling than reuse can to a larger extent be included in existing collection systems.
Today most central sorting facilities for textiles are located in Eastern Europe with low labor cost for manual sorting. The fractions most suitable for recycling are also exported outside the Nordic region. There is a limited industrial material recycling capacity in Europe. In this perspective, a main question is whether there is a potential to build up a Nordic capacity for mechanical recycling in an industrial perspective.