Fashion companies to be responsible for collecting old clothing from 2023
Environment Minister Stientje van Veldhoven has announced that, in an attempt to reduce textile waste in the Netherlands, large fashion companies will soon be made responsible for the collection and recycling of old and discarded clothing.
Making clothing companies responsible for managing textile waste
According to a statement released by the Dutch government, the textile industry is responsible for more CO2 emissions than the international aviation and maritime industries combined. Van Veldhoven and the Dutch textile industry hope this change will “ensure more reuse, less waste, and less pollution.”
Currently, municipalities are responsible for collecting, recycling, and disposing of old textiles, but from 2023 this will change as Van Veldhoven will introduce an extended product responsibility (UPV) for the fashion industry.
Large companies will then bear the costs of collecting and disposing of their fabrics and materials, and the government believes this responsibility will provide a financial incentive for higher-quality clothing that lasts longer and can be repurposed more easily and efficiently.
The Netherlands hopes to be a circular economy by 2050
“I think we should work towards a cleaner textile industry for our planet and for a healthy future for our children,” Van Veldhoven wrote in a statement. “[The UPV] stimulates more reuse and recycling of our old clothing - with major polluters footing the bill - and the consumer receives more sustainable clothing.”
Details about the UPV will be discussed and finalised in 2022, as the government and industry come together to determine what the process of the collection will look like and how small businesses can be exempted from the rule.
The Netherlands is working towards being a circular economy by 2050 in which (textile) waste no longer exists. By 2050, half of the clothing items on the market must consist of recycled or sustainable material(s).