New project in China will support actions to reduce discharge of microplastics from the textile industry
China has the world's largest textile production and exports a large part of the clothes sold in Sweden and the EU. IVL’s China office has been awarded two million Norwegian kroner from Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund (Handelens Miljøfond) in Norway for a project that will contribute knowledge and solutions to reduce discharge of microplastics from the Chinese textile industry.
The textile industry has a major environmental impact and discharge of microplastics is a major challenge. In the project, researchers will investigate how the discharge of microplastics from the textile industry to the aquatic environment can be reduced. There are two textile industries that will act as case studies case studies. In these facilities, existing systems and discharge of microplastics will be studied, and technical solutions will be proposed and demonstrated on a smaller scale. The results will form the basis for proposals for policies and training initiatives, to be presented to actors in China and in the EU.
– Microplastics is a growing environmental problem that negatively affects marine ecosystems in many ways. We are very happy that we have been given the confidence to carry out this project, says Gao Si, head of IVL's China office.
IVL will collaborate with the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, Nankai University and China Textile Information Center. Since 2020, IVL China is also conducting a project funded by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, which also focus the challenge of reducing discharge of microplastics from the textile industry. Results this far includes development of protocols for sampling and measurement of microplastics in wastewater, identification of methods for reducing microplastics from processes and sewage treatment plants. As a next step, guidelines are being developed for how the sector can reduce its discharge of microplastics.
– We work with a combination of research and application of international best practices to identify and inform about what opportunities there are. We have established contact with stakeholders in the textile industry in China and there is an interest in our work here, says Yanjing Zhu who is the project manager.
The project "Prevention and reduction of microplastics from textile industry" starts in February and runs until August 2022. It is financed by Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund, Norway, and is carried out and led by IVL's subsidiary in China, IVL Environmental Technologies (Beijing) Company.