Published on 30. August 2023
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On 05.07.2023, the European Commission presented a proposal to introduce binding and harmonised Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes for textiles in all EU Member States. The aim is to promote the separate collection, sorting, reuse and recycling of used textiles, textile products and footwear in Europe. The costs for the collection and treatment of used textiles are to be carried by the producers in the future.
The draft provides for all member states to set up a register for textile producers, in which these producers must register before they put affected products on the market in the respective country. It is currently planned that the registers of the different countries will refer to each other in order to make it easier for manufacturers who are active in several countries to comply with their registration obligations. In the future, it will no longer be possible to place affected products on the market in a country without registration.
The obligations for the management of used textiles are to be assumed by producers through producer responsibility organisations (PROs), an already common practice from other sectors. PROs must be approved by the authorities in the respective countries. Furthermore, it is stipulated that the fees incurred are based on weight and, in the case of textiles and textile products, are also subject to ecomodulation. The criteria for ecomodulation may, if necessary, be established by the Commission. Take-back systems for end-of-life textiles must accept all products covered by the proposal and allow for free return to the consumer area-wide. There must be annual reporting by producers on the quantities put on the market.
As part of waste management, it is to be ensured that the listed products are collected separately from 01.01.2025. The products must be protected from external influences in order to prevent contamination and damage that would impair recovery. In addition, all textile products that are not part of the list and unsold products must be kept separate from this collection.
By 31.12.2025 and every five years thereafter, studies on the share of textiles in mixed municipal waste are to be carried out by the member states. Based on the results, targeted measures have to be taken to optimise separate collection.
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