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  • Rafael Climent to inaugurate a recycling plant for the footwear, textile, and toy sectors at INESCOP

Rafael Climent to inaugurate a recycling plant for the footwear, textile, and toy sectors at INESCOP

The Regional Minister of Sustainable Economy, Productive Sectors, Trade and Labour, Rafael Climent, has inaugurated in Elda, before a hundred industrialists from the footwear, textile and toy sectors, the Circular Industry Demonstrator, a unique space in Europe that recovers footwear, textile and toy waste and converts it into resources for the manufacture of products with a low environmental impact. The Demonstrator has been jointly developed by INESCOP, AITEX and AIJU and has been funded by IVACE and the ERDF.


The Footwear Technology Centre, INESCOP, the Textile Industry Research Association, AITEX, and the Technological Institute for Children's Products & Leisure, AIJU, with funding of more than 741,000 euros from the Innovation Unit of the Valencian Institute for Business Competitiveness (IVACE) and European co-funding (ERDF), are launching the ‘Circular Industry Demonstrator’, an innovative pilot plant for the recovery of waste and its transformation into raw materials for the manufacture of products with a low environmental impact.

When the Spanish Circular Economy Strategy identified the footwear, textile, and toy sectors as priorities, INESCOP, AITEX and AIJU took on the challenge of helping companies to promote a model of responsible production and consumption that minimises the generation of waste, while at the same time promoting the recovery and recycling of products at the end of their useful life.

This is how the 'Circular Industry Demonstrator' came about, the first pilot plant in Spain and Europe capable of recycling multi-component products (those that use, on average, around 40 different materials) that usually end up in landfills or incinerated. In fact, it is estimated that only 5% of footwear, textile and toy waste is recycled every year in the Valencia Region.

On a national scale, it is estimated that around 3 million tonnes of footwear, textile, and toy waste end up in landfills. Most of this waste comes from manufacturing surpluses and post-consumer products once they have reached the end of their useful life.

On top of this, trends predict that consumption of footwear, textiles, and toys will multiply by 2050, requiring the capacity of three Earth planets to meet our needs.


The complexity of footwear, textile, and toy recycling

At present, the recovery and recycling of footwear, textiles, and toys are extremely complex as they are multi-component products. Although the industry has made great developments in the reuse of single-component materials, it was necessary to provide a solution for multi-component waste, especially in the separation and sorting phases.

Thanks to the 'Circular Industry Demonstrator', it is now possible to separate and sort footwear, textile, and toy waste so that it can be transformed into raw materials with a low environmental impact, thus creating a circular economy business model with diverse applications within and across sectors.

INAUGURACION DEMOSTRADOR 4Law on waste, shortage of raw materials and social awareness

The new Law on Waste makes the collection of waste from the textile and footwear sectors compulsory by 2025. In addition, the weight of waste produced is to be reduced by 13% by 2025 and 15% by 2030.

Furthermore, with the recovery of this waste, the issue of the scarcity of raw materials and the dependence on resources from outside the European Union would be minimised, in addition to making companies and society aware that current production and consumption models are not sustainable. To date, the dominant production model is that of extracting raw materials, producing products, using them, and throwing them away.

Foto Hall Demostrador IndustriaCircular
This plant will enable the creation of more resilient and competitive industrial ecosystems, less dependent on external markets, as well as more sustainable communities and industries.

By using this technology, companies will be able to reduce their waste, to reuse their surpluses, both for their own processes and to convert them into raw materials that can be used by other sectors such as furniture or the automotive industry, and to improve their carbon footprint, thus becoming circular.



 Project funded by:



The CIRCULAR INDUSTRY-CV project contributes to the SDGs:


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