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March 10, 2022

UK plans to share EPR textiles scheme options in 2022

The UK Government plans to share options with stakeholders on a textiles and apparel policy framework that includes Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) by the end of 2022.

By Laura Husband

The UK government is conducting ongoing research to develop options for a textiles policy framework that includes EPR and it is said to be committed to engaging stakeholders on these options by the end of this year.

The UK Government’s Resources & Waste Strategy for England report identified textiles as being one of five priority sectors for a potential EPR scheme alongside chemicals, construction, food and metals. The report defines the textiles sector as including at least all clothing, as well as other household and commercial textiles such as bed linens.

A UK EPR scheme specifically for textiles would mean producers of apparel and textiles would contribute to the costs of recycling and this would be supported by measures to encourage better design and labelling. The scheme would also aim to boost the reuse and recycling of apparel and textiles and reduce the environmental footprint of the sector.

The Government’s draft Waste Prevention Programme for England that was published for consultation in March 2021 is also said to affirm its commitment to an EPR scheme and sets out its consultation approach. 

The Government is already showing its commitment towards reducing waste within the fashion sector by starting engagement with stakeholders on the Textiles 2030 initiative.

Textiles 2030, which was launched in April 2021 by WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) is a ten-year voluntary clothing and textile waste initiative to try to slash the environmental impact of UK clothing and home fabrics through practical interventions along the entire textiles chain.

In its first six months it had recruited over 92 signatories and affiliates, spanning brands, retailers, re-use and recycling organisations from across the fashion and textiles sector.

Earlier this week a report was published revealing that Europe plans to be the world’s first region to get tough on fast fashion and its waste problem. The European Commission plans to set out new laws on 30 March.

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