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Textiles: Commission proposes mandatory EPR 

The European Commission has proposed an amendment of the Waste Framework Directive focusing on textile waste. Currently, the textile sector has the fourth highest impact on the environment and climate change after food, housing and mobility. The new provisions are intended to enhance the circular and sustainable management of textiles.

The existing Waste Framework Directive requires member states to set up separate collection of textiles by 1 January 2025 and to scale up the necessary infrastructure for collection, sorting, re-use and recycling.

To achieve the aims set by the recent proposal, the Commission also plans, among other measures, to introduce extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes for textiles throughout the EU, meaning that producers will have to take responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products. The financial contribution of producers will be based on circularity and environmental performance criteria.

The proposal is also intended to incentivise producers to design textiles in a manner that enables reuse and sustainable end-of-life management.

The proposal will now be discussed with and within the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, thus following the ordinary legislative procedure. This process is expected to conclude within the first quarter of 2024 to ensure implementation in 2025.