The aim with the project was to generate knowledge of upstream measures to mitigare emissions of microplastics at an industrial laundry. The aim of the project was also to increase the knowledge of amounts and sizes of the microplastic emissions. Two full-scale trials were carried out at Textilias laundry in Rimbo -Sweden, during Oct-Sept 2022.
Washing of textiles with synthetic content is regarded as one of the major sources of microplastics in our waters. The Swedish Environmental Agency (The Swedish EPA) has pointed out washing of textiles as one source where measures need to be taken in order to mitigate the microplastic emissions
Upstream measures is mentioned from different actors as a way to reduce microplastic emissions close to the source. The Swedish EPA has stated that "an efficient upstream work needs to be conducted as a cooperation at a local level".
This project carried out two full-scale trials at an industrial laundry and evaluated the effect upstream purification has regarding mitigation of microplastic emissions. The project also evaluated if the waste water treatment plant (WWTP) can retain more microplastic fractions, investigated any positive impact on other parameters (for example BoD) and evaluated microplastic content in the sludge.
The results from the project contributes as a basis to further work at the Swedish EPA in the area of mitigating microplastic emissions to water. The National Agency for Public Procurement in Sweden also followed the project to get input to any upcoming requirements for future public procurements.
The trials were conducted at Textilias facility in Rimbo where this large laundry (which produces 40 tons of clean textiles / day) is connected to a relatively small WWTP. This means easier measurements and evaluation of the effects of different measures.
A concept which enables a industrial laundry to produce a large part of its own process water was also part of the project. But, since this concept is not available in the Nordic countries, a visit to an industrial laundry in Belgium was included in the project.
Sampling was conducted before and after purification, including sludgesamples from the WWTP
The reference group consisted of representatives from The Swedish Laundry Association, Stockholm Water & Sewage sector (freely translated) and The County Administration Board of Västra Götaland.
The National Agency for Public Procurement in Sweden followed the project.
Final report - "Upstream mitigation .." (pdf, 4.81 MB)
Mitigtaing microplastics at a laundry
1 888 000 SEK
Textilia Tvätt- och Textilservice, Aalborg University-Denmark, Christeyns, Ramson, Nordic Water Products, Nitoves, Norrtälje Vatten och Avfall