Discover how ERP aims to recycle 50% of Italy’s textile waste by 2035

ERP (European Recycling Platform), a pan-European organization that deals throughout the country with the regulation-compliant management of waste electrical and electronic equipment, batteries and accumulators, has announced the establishment of the ERP Italia Textile Consortium in anticipation of the entry into force of the new European directive for the proper recycling of textile waste.

The goal of the project is to achieve 50% recycling of Italy’s textile waste by 2035.

This non-profit entity aims to ensure the management of compliance obligations in textile waste management as defined under the Extended Producer Responsibility Principle (EPR) and other obligated entities operating in Italy.

This is the first Italian textile waste recycling consortium with a truly European scope. Precisely because of its membership in a global group spread across 18 countries with 41 collective collection systems, the Consortium can play a crucial role in making the sector more sustainable, considering that the amount of textile waste such as garments, home furnishing fabrics and footwear is expected to increase by +63% by 2030.

“Belonging to an integrated network brings obvious benefits to Italian manufacturers and obligated parties in a sector like fashion focused on export. After the European directive comes into force, companies will be obliged to take charge of collection. By relying on ERP, companies will be able to refer to a single organization without having to deal with multiple parties, simplifying the management of compliance with this new directive and thus benefiting from economies and efficiencies,” said Alberto Canni Ferrari, head of ERP Southern Europe.

In Europe today, more than 78% of textile waste, or about 5.6 million tons, is sent to landfills or destined for waste-to-energy. In Italy, the steps ahead are even more important: as of today, only about 10% of the total amount released for consumption is collected, or about 157,000 tons out of a total of more than one million.

The data, therefore, show the need for a change of pace that can no longer be postponed, and this is why the ERP Italia Tessile Consortium is now making itself available to manufacturers and other stakeholders to help define the new system with the aim of bridging the gap between placing on the market and separate collection, with very challenging goals for the countrysystem if we do not all work together right away.

In terms of environmental impact mitigation, the sector should also adequately play its part. In Europe, textile consumption is the fourth leading cause of climate change impact, while globally, it ranks third for water and land use. In addition, according to a study conducted by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the per capita consumption of textiles by an EU citizen is around 14.8 kilograms, divided between clothing, household textiles and shoes.