Rester Oy buys LSJH’s pilot line for end-of-life textile fibre opening
Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto (LSJH) is selling its pilot-stage line for end-of-life textile refinement to Paimio-based Rester Oy. Despite selling the fibre opening line, LSJH will continue coordinating the national waste management network’s end-of-life textile collection and selling end-of-life textile raw material, sorted in Turku, to companies using it. The acquisition will provide Rester an opportunity to expand its growing fibre opening business.
Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto (LSJH) has collected consumer and household end-of-life textiles since 2016. Additionally, it has coordinated the national waste management network’s cooperation in end-of-life textile collection. In autumn 2021, LSJH initiated a pilot line for end-of-life textile’s fibre opening in Paimio. It developed the pilot together with Rester Oy, a company that started processing corporate end-of-life textiles in the same property.
“In the past few years, we have gained valuable information and skills on end-of-life textile collection, sorting, and refinement. The experience has shown that various kinds of technologies may be needed in the process. The pilot was experimental, and the things we learned will now be utilised in the planning of end-of-life textile collection and processing in the Topinpuisto refinement plant,” says LSJH’s development director Teemu Jutila.
According to Jutila, the circular economy is going through a revolution comparable to industrialisation. The near future will determine the roles and responsibilities of various operators in end-of-life textile recycling and refinement. It is rational for LSJH to focus now on the company’s main tasks in end-of-life textile management: consumer end-of-life textile collection, sorting, and the search for utilisation channels.
“One of our important partners, Rester, was interested in expanding its role in textile refinement. It was natural for LSJH to give up its fibre opening operations. Residents or customers buying raw materials from us will not see any changes, and our end-of-life textile services will remain the same – as good as before or even better,” Jutila assures.
LSJH will keep operating as a circular-economy medium and continue its strong research and development work in end-of-life textile sorting and technology. One example is the preparation of the end-of-life textile refinement plant planned to be built in Topinpuisto, Turku. Last year, nearly 750 tonnes of locally pre-sorted end-of-life textiles delivered from around Finland went through LSJH’s manual material sorting. This year, the amount is estimated to increase up to 1000 tonnes.
Growth opportunities for Rester
The deal concluded at the beginning of June was significant for Rester. As the EU textile strategy accelerates the textile industry towards a circular economy, the effects are comprehensively visible in all industries using fibre. Promoting a circular economy and resource-wise material economy is necessary for the environment, but it also offers new business opportunities.
“The acquisition of the second fibre-opening line was a strategic choice for us as an end-of-life textile processor in the North European market. Our aim as a pioneer in circular economy is to provide companies a responsible solution for end-of-life textile recycling by producing high-quality material – that replaces virgin raw materials – for further industrial processing. With the additional capacity enabled by the second fibre opening line, we will be able to meet the near-future need of recycled fibre production in the Nordic countries,” says Rester Oy’s CEO Outi Luukko.
With the new agreement, LSJH’s fibre opening will continue in Paimio until the end of 2023. After that, Rester will be responsible for both processing lines in Paimio.
At the moment, LSJH has nearly 190 employees, of which 25 are working in tasks related to end-of-life textile collection, sorting, and refinement. If alternative jobs do not open during the autumn, the employment relationship of a maximum of three people working in LSJH’s fibre opening operations will terminate.
Teemu Jutila, development director
Lounais-Suomen Jätehuolto (LSJH)
+358 50 595 2215
Outi Luukko, CEO
+358 400 406 083