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Alert: Textile is on the radar of EU lawmakers

Laws & regulations Circularity
The EU Green Deal is all about circular economy and climate neutrality in 2050. The Dutch government has big ambitions for the future of fashion: a circular textile industry by 2050.

To achieve this goal, the Dutch government implemented the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy approach in July 2023, in which producers are given increased responsibility for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products. To execute this, the government provides the following policy program:

Extended Producer Responsibility in the Netherlands

For who?

Textile manufacturers and importers that are selling products in the Netherlands.

What?

Textile manufacturers will need to take responsibility for the collecting, recycling, reusing and waste phase of the products they bring to market, as well as for the costs of the logistics of this process. With the implementation of EPR, this responsibility has shifted to fashion chains. In terms of financial burden, you will see this as an end-user on your product receipt: there is an added cost to enable your garment to be recycled again.

What products are included in the EPR policy in the Netherlands?

The EPR first will focus on consumer textiles, namely:
  • Clothing
  • Household textiles (bed, bath, kitchen and table linen)
Clothing and household textiles are first to be covered since these products are the largest textile categories in terms of volume and sales. With time, once the EPR system is established, the scope will be expanded to other textile items: first adding curtains and bedspreads, later accessories and shoes.

How is this policy being implemented?

The first concrete EPR objectives for the 2025 milestone:

Source: Modint, 2021

  • Recycling and reuse must be communicated transparently and needs to be covered by the due diligence mechanism.
  • Because never all textile collection is suitable for reuse or recycling, a separate collection must be established
  • Set targets for 2030 need to be established based on monitoring in 2024.
  • Design for Circularity and recycled content are crucial front-end developments that will be stimulated through cost reductions.

Governance of the EPR:

To implement the Extended Producer Responsibility policy in the Netherlands, Modint and INretail intend to establish a producer organization, which will be governed by representatives of different types of producers and retailers operating in the Netherlands.
The producer organization will focus on two tasks:
1. Carrying out the responsibilities of the producer organization: coordination of stakeholders
2. Managing the innovation and transition fund.

So what’s next?

From 2024 onwards, Dutch companies are expected to report annually at Rijkswaterstaat, and must include the amount of textiles sold. From 2026, these annual reports must also include the objectives.

All companies will start to pay a fee in 2024 on their sales in 2023 (textiles sold in The Netherlands).

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