The European Commission has proposed introducing mandatory extended producer responsibility (EPR) textile schemes in all EU Member States.
The Commission says the initiative will accelerate the development of the separate collection, sorting, reuse and recycling sector for textiles in the EU – in line with the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. The proposals include investing the producers’ contributions into separate collection, sorting, reuse and recycling capacities.
As part of the proposal, the Commission says producers will be required to cover the costs of managing textile waste to incentivise them to reduce waste and “increase the circularity” of textile products. How much producers will pay in the EPR scheme will be adjusted based on the environmental performance of textiles – this process is known as “eco-modulation”.
The Commission says that common EU EPR rules will also make it easier for Member States to implement the requirement to collect textiles separately from 2025, in line with current legislation. The new law also clarifies what constitutes waste and what is considered reusable textiles.
This legislative proposal is a significant step towards a more sustainable and circular textile sector.
The proposal for a targeted revision of the Waste Framework Directive also includes measures concerning food waste. The Commission’s proposal on a targeted amendment of the Waste Framework Directive is set to be considered by the European Parliament and the Council.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, commented: “This legislative proposal is a significant step towards a more sustainable and circular textile sector, delivering on our landmark Textiles Strategy.
“Harmonised EPR rules across the EU will create a level playing field on the single market and ensure the application of the polluter pays principle. This initiative will drive investments in the reuse and recycling infrastructure for textiles, create local jobs and boost innovation in all phases of textiles’ lifecycle. It will also create cost-saving opportunities for citizens who choose vintage, timeless fashion over fast fashion.”