Sådan Lukkes et Loop - En specialeafhandling om recirkulering af tekstiler i fremtidens affaldssystem

Alexander Sørensen Pazyj, Pernille Haagen Larsen & Mads Holmgaard Meyer

Studenteropgave: Speciale


This master thesis revolves around the topic of increased reuse and recycling of tex-tiles from Danish households. The use of resources is significant in the life of textiles and the consumption of textiles is increasing. The purpose of this thesis is therefore to answer the following: How is it possible to increase the recirculation of textiles by imple-menting Circular Economy, and what obstacles exist in the current Danish handling of textiles to achieve this?

The master thesis particularly focuses on the recycling of textiles in order to return resources to the value chain. The European Union focuses on implementing Circular Economy as seen in the Waste Framework Directive, where initiatives such as the waste hierarchy have been introduced. In addition to this, the European Union has set a number of objectives to increase the reuse and recycling of household waste by 2025. In relation to textiles, all Member-States should introduce a separate collection for textile waste by 2025.

In Denmark, there is a well-functioning collection system for used clothes which is pri-marily based on humanitarian organizations. The system causes a high proportion of used textiles to be collected instead of being incinerated, which is the main waste man-agement in Denmark. Despite this well-functioning system, most of the used textiles are exported and the resources are not returned to the value chain. In relation to an in-creased focus on the implementation of Circular Economy, this master thesis aims to explore the possibilities for a transition of the current system in Denmark, towards a system where fewer textiles are exported and more are reused and recycled.

Methodologically, this study has been using mixed methods. Initially, two reviews were made. The first review revolves around the environmental effects regarding the life cycle of textiles. The second review was made to conceptualize Circular Economy. This was done by searching for scientific State of the Art literature about the topics. Hereaf-ter there has been made scenario projections, which will help set the framework to describe how future scenarios for the handling of used textiles could implement Circu-lar Economy. Furthermore, there has been made several interviews with relevant stakeholders in relation to handling, reuse, and recycling of textiles, both nationally and internationally. Lastly, there was conducted an experiment where used textiles were sorted to make a sample regarding different types of fibers in a collected batch.

The theory of Circular Economy has been conceptualized and a self-made definition has been made for further in this study. The definition is a following: A continuous re-turn of resources to the original value chain, which contributes to substitution in the consumption of virgin resources.

The results of this study have been the creation of three scenarios, which work with different levels of integration of instruments to increase the recycling of textiles. First, there was projected the consumption of textiles in an average Danish household in 2025. This presented an annual growth by 2,8 %. This factor was used for the projec-tion of the following scenarios. The first scenario is a baseline where no instruments for increased recycling is implemented. This scenario solely projects the increase in consumption. The 2nd scenario projects an explorative scenario with the implementa-tion of chemical recycling, along with the increased municipal textile collection. The 3rd scenario is also explorative and focuses on the implementation of chemical recycling, increased municipal collection, and exclusion of export of reusable textiles.
The three scenarios have different conclusions. The baseline-scenario will not reach the political objective, set by the EU. Neither will the scenario be able to return re-sources from textile waste to the value chain. The 2nd scenario will increase the recy-cling of textiles and is approaching but will not be able to reach the political objectives, it will only return a lesser amount of the textile resources to the value chain. The 3rd scenario has the ability to increase the recycling of textiles further and will be able to reach the political objective set by the EU, as well as return resources from the textiles to the value chain.

This study concludes that there are significant environmental effects regarding the life of textiles. There was a need to conceptualize the definition of Circular Economy for the specific waste fraction of textiles. The chemical recycling technology is the only way to return resources to the value chain regarding the perception of the Circular Econo-my presented in this study. However, chemical recycling technology is not yet imple-mented in Denmark and needs to be developed further, in order to receive and handle the input from the textile waste from households.

Finally, there has been developed a revised waste hierarchy, specified for textiles. The revised waste hierarchy implements recycling technologies in priority order, relative to efficient use of textiles resources.

UddannelserTekSam - miljøplanlægning, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato3 jun. 2019
Antal sider162
VejledereThomas Budde Christensen


  • Cirkulær
  • Økonomi
  • Tekstil
  • Tøj
  • genanvendelse
  • genbrug
  • affald
  • ressourcer
  • scenarier
  • miljøeffekter
  • affaldsrammedirektiv
  • EU
  • Danmark