reciclaje textil

CO2 from textile waste and the new regulations in 2023

Many large fashion multinationals have introduced the recycling of clothing into their business models as they realize the industry is a high contributor to global pollution and the climate crisis. As new laws aimed at curtailing harmful business practices are imminent, preemptive action is key.

A ton of textiles produces 25 tons of CO2. Millions of tons end up in landfill and clothes intended to go to third world countries are not being accepted. 

While the entire EU will be obliged to collect textile waste  — with containers on streets — by 1 January 2025, more action is necessary for the industry to become sufficiently sustainable. There are calls for the responsibility to fall onto the producer and also the consumer. The Spanish government passed the law on waste and contaminated soils, which intends for the producer to be responsible for the management of any of its product’s waste. Equally, there is room to consider that the consumer takes responsibility by paying for recycling and waste management of textile purchases –  which means prices for clothes could also increase.

A due diligence law is also being debated in Europe, to enforce the fair treatment and compensation of workers linked to every part of the supply chain. This particularly pertains to companies employing workers in other countries such as in Asia, where labor laws are different and employee rights are not uniformly respected.

Moving forward, there are opportunities to improve traceability of textiles, which might instill more transparency in the industry. Limiting “greenwashing” will also prevent companies falsely marketing products as recyclable or sustainable. In the future, as recycling technology evolves and advances, companies can also prepare for a transition towards the manufacturing of products with solely recyclable fabrics.


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