Starting from the 18th century, the development of the textile industry has profoundly changed human history by being one of the key sectors that led to the Industrial Revolution. This old industry has evolved with its consumers and the practice has followed the innovation in the production path. In the past years, however, issues about the environmental consequences of the textile sector gained awareness in the media. Among these, the consumption of fast fashion, the changes in textile composition, and the waste it generates have become the most visible side effect of the linear textile economies.
Sustainable textile can only be effectively addressed by implementing circular economy solutions on all levels worldwide. It requires a shift in mindset and the implementation of circular economy principles, such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). These incentivise and drive the necessary changes along the lifecycle of products – covering design, consumption, and post-consumption stages, including a functioning and holistic waste management infrastructure. Of course, international cooperation in textile is crucial in disseminating best practices and driving change.
In order to discuss these issues and more, the EPR Club held a lunch debate on EPR for the textile sector in Europe online, on 16 June 2020. It was organised on the initiative of ACR+ and its member Metropolitan Region Amsterdam, members of the EPR Club.
The lunch debate welcomed panellists from different sectors and areas who could share their experience and questions. In addition to a representative of the EU Commission, viewers could learn from recyclers with representatives of EURATEX and of EPR Club member EuRIC, and also from textile collectors, represented by ACR+ member Humana – Fundacion pueblo para pueblo, participants could also understand better the only EPR system applied to textile, to date, which is organised in France.
The audience showed high interest in all speakers’ presentations. Due to time constraints, not all questions were covered during the Q&A. Therefore, these questions were sent for the speakers to answer them on paper. Following up on this, the recording, presentations, and summary will soon be made available.