Expanding the scope of products covered under EPR
Introducing well-designed EPR schemes for textiles is an important step in driving the shift to a more circular textiles value chain, and as stated in TOMRA’s recommendations for the UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, "to enable the scaling up of textile collection, sorting, reuse and recycling infrastructure and accelerate the transition towards a circular economy for textiles."
The textiles industry is the fourth largest consumer of primary raw materials and water in the EU, producing around 6 million tonnes of post-consumer textile waste each year - a number that is expected to reach 7.2 million tonnes by 2035. EPR schemes offer a promising solution to this growing problem, by incentivizing producers to transform their design and production processes. This is achieved by basing the EPR fees on criteria like design-for-recycling and the percentage of recycled fibers used. For instance, textiles made from a single material incur lower fees, whereas textiles with complex components or low recycled fiber content incur higher fees to cover waste management and recycling costs.
As the global population grows and lower-income countries develop, plastic pollution will continue to increase unless bold and swift action is taken. Well-mandated EPR schemes are a powerful, proven tool with the potential to drastically reduce pollution – now.