Covid-related textile recycling problems mean loving linen longer is more important than ever

Textile recyclers are warning that parts of the industry could collapse – as end markets for materials reduce, due to Coronavirus.

This could mean that more discarded linen is likely to end up in landfill, at least in the short to medium term, rather than being repurposed as rag.

Therefore developing thrifty habits with commercial textiles – learning to love linen longer – is increasingly important.

We can’t let Coronavirus undo businesses’ hard work so far to reduce their carbon footprint. And minimising waste heading to landfill is one good step to take.

If laundries, healthcare organisations and hospitality companies try harder to make the most of every piece of linen, this will ease the burden on both the recycling and the landfill sectors, and in turn, the planet.

This burden has been increasingly steadily since the outbreak of the virus. In a move reported by, the Textile Recycling Association is calling on the Government to help relieve the pressure caused by export market restrictions, as warehouses fill up with linen that cannot currently be shipped to key markets such as Kenya and Pakistan.

This plea follows a joint statement from the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) and the European recycling association, Euric, warning of problems.

Textiles are just one of many materials that are much less likely to be recycled under current conditions, meaning there is extra pressure on landfill from many sources of waste.

Regenex technical director, Paul Hamilton, said: “There’s no need to throw any linen away that’s not ripped or worn out. If it is simply stained or discoloured, there is a 75.3% chance that we can process it, so that it can be returned to stock.”

Regenex’s treatments for commercial linens include a gentle, multi-bath cleaning system, based on the opening of fibres to lift stains – whether they be rust, oil, mould, food, fake tan or anything else.

In the under 25% of cases that stains cannot be sufficiently lifted – or where colour has simply become faded and washed out – over-dyeing methods can be used.

Paul continued: “The end result is that laundries, whether in-house or outsourced, can love linen longer, saving money on replacement stock as well as easing the squeeze on recycling and landfill.”

We are offering a free 400kg stain removal trial to any new customer. Get in touch to find out more.

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