Project Details


Europe has an extensive textile waste problem - annually 7 –7.5 million tons of textile waste is generated, but only about 30 - 35 % of the generated waste is collected separately and less than 1% is recycled into new clothing. Collection of textile waste will become mandatory in EU member states by 2025. Most of the textile are cotton, polyester, or their blends. Considerable amounts of CO/PES blends are disposed every year due to the technical challenge and/or economic viability of recycling. The objective of PESCO-UP is to develop a sustainable and economically and technologically viable process of the mixed CO/PES textile waste to be upcycled into cotton originated and polyester products. The processes should enable for production of new products without quality restriction and of products with identical properties and performances as those produced using primary resources. The main tools to achieve this are the development of automated identification and sorting methods for textiles, Digital Product Passport with a marketplace-style dataspace for sharing data describing material streams to support matching of supply and demand of textile materials, and the process development of purification, separation technologies as well as the technologies that utilize the separated cotton and PES fractions for the valuable products. PESCO-UP will ensure that sustainable fiber-to-fiber recycling becomes a reality in Europe. This will turn a societal waste problem into a business opportunity for European SMEs and bring the textile industry back to Europe. At the same time dependency on oil and cotton based raw materials will decrease, which will mean reduction in CO2 emission and reduced water consumption. The use of developed digital methods and digital product passport can be widened in other industrial sectors to solve their recycling and sustainability issues.
Effective start/end date1/01/2431/12/27

Collaborative partners

  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (lead)
  • European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing
  • CuRe Technology BV
  • Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO)
  • Nordic Bioproducts Group Oy
  • Riga Technical University
  • Centexbel
  • IOS - inštitut za okoljevarstvo in senzorje, proizvodnja, trgovina in storitve d.o.o.
  • Rester Oy
  • Reverse Resources OÜ
  • Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
  • Vegea srl
  • Valmet Technologies Oy
  • Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut eV
  • Mitwill Textiles Europe
  • TEXroad Foundation
  • MTÜ Civitta Foundation
  • INEOS Composites Hispania S.L.
  • Textile4ever B.V.

Funding category

  • Horizon Europe


  • recycling
  • textiles
  • separation technologies