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FEAD urges strong recycling industry in response to ENVI vote on EU Textiles Strategy

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FEAD, the European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services, has urged for a strong recycling industry in response to the European Parliament's ENVI committee vote on the EU Textiles Strategy. FEAD expressed overall satisfaction with the report and the tabled amendments, but also raised concerns about restricting recycling markets under the 'close loop recycling' mantra. They argued that reduced markets for recycled products lead to lower recycling rates and lower quality of the recyclates.

FEAD emphasized the need for a robust framework to create and scale up a strong recycling industry for textile waste, which is an essential component of a sustainable and circular textiles strategy. They also supported mandatory recycled content targets for textiles to boost end-markets for separately collected textiles and trigger further investments to scale up textile recycling. However, they regretted that the Parliament maintains specific separate targets and suggested combined targets (for reuse and recycling) would avoid complicated legislation and bureaucratic administration.

FEAD warned that the promotion of specific enterprises as 'partners' in the collection and waste management obligations and targets distorts the market and puts at risk the quality of the treatment. They emphasized that to ensure a level playing field and the environmentally sound management of textile waste, only permitted companies can be allowed to treat the waste in line with EU legislation.

FEAD also stressed the fact that textile waste is still falsely labeled as second-hand goods and agreed with the need to establish rules to distinguish between used goods and waste to ensure safe and sound management of the waste. They underlined the importance of waste shipments and strong end-of-waste criteria for textiles to facilitate the recycling of waste and introduce secondary raw materials into the circular economy.

Finally, FEAD recognized and welcomed the positive steps taken in the EU Textiles Strategy and urged legislators to create the right legal framework to implement it. They remain committed to working with all stakeholders to promote a more sustainable and circular future for textiles in Europe and beyond.



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