VTT and partners launch new textile recycling and upcycling innovation project PESCO-UP

Project news

Launched today, the PESCO-UP project focuses on transforming mixed polyester/cotton waste into high-quality and clean materials for the next use cycle, aligning with the EU's 2025 textile waste mandatory collection.

Led by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, one of the leading research organisations in Europe, the PESCO-UP project will address industry challenges by, among others, creating a digital marketplace for information exchange and establishing recycling standards. The project spans 48 months, aiming to enhance the textile recycling value chain and reduce reliance on virgin materials.

The PESCO-UP project’s holistic approach also includes innovative processes such as digitalised material identification, data sharing, and advanced sorting systems. By developing feasible chemical and mechanical separation methods, the project targets up to 90% material processing efficiency.

The project not only advances in technology but also wants to lead the change in transforming this challenge into business opportunities and enhance workforce skills through targeted upskilling strategies and engaging training materials. 

As part of a consortium of 19 partners working on the project, VTT will focus on the development of digitalised instruments and data sharing solutions for enabling effective sorting and utilization of textile waste. 

“VTT's Biocelsol technology will be used to separate cotton and polyester fibers, creating distinct fractions. This will enable the production of regenerated cellulose textile fibers and cellulose films, specifically designed for packaging applications. The isolated polyester will be further processed into high-quality textile fibers and composites. VTT will also be involved in conducting techno-economic evaluations of these processes.,” says Principal Scientist Marjo Määttänen from VTT. 

More information on the PESCO-UP project on its website: https://www.pesco-up.eu/

Notes to Editors

PESCO-UP is a Horizon Europe project, funded by the European Union. It started on 1 January 2024 and will last for 48 months. Led by VTT, the largest research and technology company and research centre conducting applied research in Finland, the PESCO-UP consortium is EU-wide and covers the entire textile recycling life cycle. The full list of partners is available here. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No. 101138367.

Marjo Määttänen
Marjo Määttänen
Principal Scientist
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