Salvation Army opens new polyester recycling plant


textile recycling

The Salvation Army has opened what it called the first of its kind commercial-scale, post-consumer polyester recycling plant in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

The plant which aims to recycle polyester textile waste is a joint venture between Salvation Army Trading Company and Project Plan B, known as Project Re:claim.

The plant will recycle post-consumer garments and other textiles, and supply the raw material back into the fashion and textiles industries, the Salvation Army said.

Commenting on the plant, Tim Cross, CEO of Project Plan B, said: “In the UK alone, 300,000 tonnes of textile items are discarded into household waste, including polyester. Up until now, polyester that had no useful life left would have been disposed of.

“With this project, we can now save that waste and return it to supply chains. It’s a carbon saving, planet-saving solution, and it plays a significant role in helping our collective journey to net zero.”

Up until now, polyester that had no useful life left would have been disposed of.

As part of the venture, the Salvation Army said it has set up the new technology at one of its processing centres in January 2024. The Salvation Army said the plant is projected to recycle 2,500 tonnes of unwanted polyester this year and a further 5,000 tonnes in 2025.

The plant creates polyester pellets which can be spun into yarn for use in textiles along with other industrial applications, the Salvation Army said. The organisation expects the pellets to be integrated into the manufacturing processes of new products later this year.

Majonne Frost, Head of Environment and Sustainability at Salvation Army Trading Company, commented: “This partnership brings together the large-scale collection and processing capabilities of the Salvation Army, with the cutting-edge technology developed by Project Plan B and PURE LOOP.

“Together we are working together to bring new solutions and services, at scale, that will help create a textile circular economy.”

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