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VÄXJÖ – Swedish pulp and paper business, Södra, which has developed a chemical recycling technique which can separate the cotton and polyester in polycotton blends, has received certification according to the Recycled Claim Standard (RCS). The resultant pure cotton fibres from Södra’s technique can be added to the company’s wood-derived textile pulp, which can then be used to make new textiles.

Södra told us it is targeting 20 per cent recycled content for its next production run of ‘OnceMore’ pulp, the remaining content being FSC/PEFC certified wood.

“This certification enables Södra to produce and sell RCS-certified OnceMore pulp. It means that customers receive a promise that recycled cotton has been added to the mixture and that the cotton is derived from collected textiles that would otherwise have been treated as waste,” said Eva Gustafsson, sustainability coordinator at Södra.

The Recycled Claim Standard is an international, voluntary standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of products containing recycled material. The certification is administered by Textile Exchange.

Gustafsson added: “The Recycled Claim Standard is intended to show that you are processing and selling products that contain at least 5 per cent recycled material. For Södra, this means that we can sell our OnceMore pulp with an admixture of recycled cotton as RCS-certified. RCS certification of products sold to end-consumers requires certification and traceability throughout the supply chain.”

At present, Södra can accept large amounts of textiles for recycling. The long-term target is to use 25,000 tonnes/year of textiles that would otherwise be treated as waste.

Johannes Bogren, vice president, Södra Cell Bioproducts, said: “Following our launch of OnceMore in autumn 2019, we received several inquiries from brands and other players in the textile supply chain. One of the most common requests was that we obtain RCS certification. I am very pleased that we have already become certified, which is proof that we can offer products containing recycled textiles. Now I hope that the rest of the textile supply chain will follow suit so that RCS-certified garments and other textiles materials based on our OnceMore technology will soon be available in stores.”

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