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SFR : a little-known way of recovering textiles 

SFR: a solution to recover non-reusable and non-recyclable textile waste. 


Foreword: flows in the Textile Sector

In France in 2021, 715,290 tonnes of textiles, household linen and footwear were put on the market. Of the 244,448 tonnes collected (i.e. 34% of the potential deposit), nearly 2/3 were sorted in the 66 sorting centres in France and Europe. Sorting is therefore an essential step, as it determines the treatment methods that can be used to give a second life to textiles, household linen and footwear. 

While 57% of the quantities are reused and 32% are recycled, approximately 11% of the volumes deemed non-reusable and non-recyclable are directed towards so-called energy recovery routes, including Solid Recovered Fuels (8.7%).



       What are Solid Recovered Fuels?

SRFs are defined as solid non-hazardous waste, composed of waste that has been sorted in order to extract the fraction that can be recovered in the form of material under the technical and economic conditions of the time, prepared for use as fuel (Article R541-8-1 of the Environmental Code). 

In order to respect the hierarchy of waste treatment methods, waste can only be recovered in SRF when reuse and material recovery (in particular recycling) are impossible.


       Why are SRF interesting?

The primary objective of SRF is energy production. Indeed, with its high calorific value, SRF acts as a real substitute energy for fossil fuels to produce heat and/or electricity, thus reducing CO2 emissions thanks to a local, low-carbon energy produced from waste. 



Resulting from a mixture of different wastes, SFR can contain up to 40% of used textiles!  



What does the future hold for SRF in France?

A favourable legal environment

Two French laws restricting waste disposal have been put in place:

  • LTECV (law on the energy transition for green growth): imposes a target of 50% reduction in the quantities of waste stored in 2025 compared to 2010; 
  • AGEC law : imposes an energy recovery of at least 70% of waste that cannot be recovered from materials by 2025. 


Favourable macro-economic factors

Various factors could favourably influence the development of the SRF sector in France, such as: the desire to move away from energy dependence on other countries, the saturation of storage and incineration facilities and the introduction of legislation and aid by the public authorities, and finally, the growing competitiveness of SRF compared to fossil fuels, particularly with regard to CO2 quotas.



Obstacles not to be overlooked

The fragility of the economic model, the low use of coal in France and the increase in raw material prices are among the difficulties that could limit the development of this sector. 



        Discover our works

To learn more about SRF industry, discover our analysis report "What does the future hold for SRF in France?" or watch the replay of our webinar (only in French) "Tout connaître sur les CSR". 

To contact SRF operators who are able to process textile, household linen and footwear, we also provide a non-exhaustive list of operators.