Robots and machines to finally recycle shoes

An employee places old shoes on the leather and rubber sorting machine at the Cetia factory in Hendaye. GAIZKA IROZ/AFP

In the Basque Country, a research unit has been inaugurated, which works with various French brands.


While the world is awash in used clothes and shoes, recycle better is an imperative for the planet. According to Ademe, every French person buys 10 kilos of clothes, shoes and linens every year and throws away at least 3.4 kilos. Only in France, more than 244,000 tons are collected and sorted per year. Driven by regulatory tightening on the one hand and consumer demand on the other, but also the rise in commodity pricesbrands have started to tackle the task.

The industrial recycling chain is gradually being put in place. Thus, the French Carbios has developed a process for transforming textiles into PET bottles and is working with Salomon, On, Patagonia and Puma on the recycling of polyester. The American Eastman has started the construction in France of a plastic and textile recycling plant. In addition, three textile companies – TDV Industries, Tissages de Charlieu and Mulliez…

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