December 2, 2023

Comistra is a widely known wool recycling firm, situated in Prato, Italy. To acquire fiber, it makes use of a technique referred to as mechanical recycling, which is taken into account one of the crucial sustainable and environment friendly materials extraction strategies from an power viewpoint.

The transalpine firm Comistra makes use of this technique to recycle wool from used clothes. Based in 1920, it has been within the follow for over a century, and is properly positioned to grasp the significance of recycling treasured fibers. The method has develop into a convention, as soon as born out of necessity, and in the present day may assist paved the way to a extra accountable manner of manufacturing yarn.

What’s mechanical recycling?

The time period ‘mechanical recycling’ refers to a collection of bodily operations, resembling sorting, washing, drying, shredding, regranulation and compounding, to get better plastic waste. This technique doesn’t contact the chemical composition of the fabric, which permits the reuse, recycling, of polymeric supplies, making a closed loop.

The UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry notes that that is virtually the one type of recycling in Europe in the present day, accounting for greater than 99% of the quantities recycled.

Mechanical recycling and wool

In comparison with the manufacturing of ‘virgin’ wool, Comistra managers say that regenerated wool has a decrease environmental affect, for 2 important causes.

Initially, in contrast to newly produced wool, regenerated wool doesn’t have to be dyed. These in command of recycling it could possibly make the most of the colour it presents. This implies extra water is saved, fewer poisonous chemical substances are used within the therapy and dyeing course of, and fewer CO₂ is produced.

Second, reclaimed wool is extra environmentally pleasant as a result of much less land space is demanded. It’s because it’s not obligatory to make use of a whole bunch of hectares of land for elevating sheep, from which the wool is obtained.

Comistra staff classify the clothes within the warehouse. Alice Tesi, head of Comistra’s Advertising and marketing and Communication division, explains to Euronews the totally different elements of the corporate’s manufacturing unit.

“Textile supplies are distributed as follows: round 60% is destined for reuse, 35% for recycling, and 5% will go to the landfill, or shall be thermovalued,” he says.

After the clothes are manually chosen and sorted by coloration, they’re handed by a machine that performs features just like these of a washer.

Inside the firm they describe the so-called ‘lavastraccia’ as a ‘closed cycle cylindrical channel’, the place the previous materials are submerged in water, after which despatched to a collection of cylinders of two differing types. Some have sharp edges. The others have sawtooth joints.

In that machine, the fibers are washed and frayed, forming a mass of wool fibers. Thus, they’re able to develop into new threads that can later be used to make new garments.