Carbios and Tomra plan to establish an efficient stream from textile waste collection, sorting and preparation to recycling in northern Europe. The site will use Carbios’ enzymatic depolymerisation technology and is currently under construction in Longlaville, France.

Tomra Textiles will design and scale textile sorting plants, exploring specific, tangible measures to enable the preparation of post-consumer polymer waste for biorecycling according to Carbios’ specifications.

The partnership aims to close the circularity gap between the collection of textile waste and innovative technologies for textile-to-textile recycling by using the monomers obtained to produce recycled polyester (r-PET) fibre.

Carbios’ biorecycling technology involves breaking down polyester fibers into their basic components using enzymes, which are then used to produce high-quality recycled PET materials such as fibers for the textile industry.

The duo highlighted that their collaboration will redirect the challenging PET fraction of polyester textile waste towards biorecycling, which they believe showcases a mutual dedication to pioneering recycling solutions for a circular economy.

According to Carbios CEO Emmanuel Ladent, the recycling company is taking the lead in forming an efficient value chain for textile circularity and actively engages with global industry leaders such as Tomra to shape the future of sustainable textiles.

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Head of Tomra Textiles, Vibeke Krohn, said: “The textile industry has been optimised for cost and efficiency for centuries. Closing the gap means scaling all the elements of a circular value chain – from collection to sorting to recycling technologies. Future recycling solutions depend on reliable access to feedstock. Through the collaboration with Carbios we hope to stimulate further investments needed to scale textile circularity.”

In March, Carbios became a member of Paris Good Fashion, an association that unites over 100 French players in the sector – brands, designers and experts – around their commitment to sustainable fashion.