Brussels – The European Commission wants to transfer the extended responsibility of manufacturers for the waste their products generate to the textile industry. The regulations are designed to promote sustainable and recyclable textiles and stop the illegal export of textile waste.
The European Commission wants to make textile manufacturers more accountable for the textile waste their products generate. That is why it is proposing to amend the European Waste Framework Directive, according to a media release. According to the proposal, the so-called extended producer responsibility, which already applies in other economic sectors, is to be transferred to the textile industry.
Then apparel and textile producers will have to take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products and pay for the costs of managing textile waste. This should lead to an increase in their interest in “reducing waste and improving the recyclability of textile products by developing better products from the start.” This polluter-pays principle already applies to producers of packaging, batteries and electrical and electronic equipment.
With the fees from textile manufacturers, the EU wants to finance the capacities for separate collection, sorting, reuse and recycling of clothing waste. Used materials should be collected separately for reuse. Textiles that cannot be reused should be prioritized for recycling instead of ending up in landfills or being incinerated. In the EU, 11 kilograms of discarded textiles are produced per capita each year.
In addition, with the new law, the EU wants to address the problem of illegal export of textile waste to countries that are not adequately equipped to manage it. It aims to clarify “what is to be classified as waste and what is to be classified as reusable textiles in order to put an end to the export of waste made under the guise of reuse.” ce/ko