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Textile waste, from concern to regulation

"The changes in the regulatory environment regarding the eco-design of clothing, the treatment of textile waste and the need for circularity in the sector."

The last 14 of September Fide held a session on Textile waste, from concern to regulation, in which the changes in the regulatory environment regarding the eco-design of clothing, the treatment of textile waste and the need for circularity in the sector were addressed.

We count on the participation in the session in the initial interventions of Isabel Anton Juarez, Professor of Private International Law at Universidad Carlos III and expert in Fashion Law and Jose Luis Quintana Cortes, Partner of Rodríguez Castaño Lawyers. Lawyer specialized in administrative law. He moderated the session Santiago Garrido De Las Heras, Partner of the Department of Public and Regulatory Law at Gómez-Acebo & Pombo Abogados.

Isabel Anton Juarez During his speech he made reference to the fact that the textile industry is facing profound legislative changes in the near future. One of them is the Law 7/2022, of April 8, on waste and contaminated soil for a circular economy. In fact, this is the first regulation that establishes requirements for the textile industry in environmental matters, he stressed. Among the novelties that this Law implies in his opinion, we could highlight three:

1) Textile companies will have to produce more sustainably. For this, ecodesign will be key, a term that comes from Directive 2009/125 and that fully impacts the core of fast fashion. A production based on eco-design will lead to less production and also higher quality garments that can later be recycled at a lower cost and more efficiently than at present. 

2) These companies will pay for the waste they generate and will not be able to destroy or incinerate it..

3) Manufacturers and/or holders of textile waste will face extended producer responsibility. This type of responsibility is already applied in other sectors such as caso glass or containers. However, there are still many aspects around this responsibility that must be developed by the Spanish legislator (such as the financial burden) and that currently worry (and rightly so) textile companies due to the legal uncertainty that it causes in the short term. .

Therefore, this Law implies novel regulatory aspects that, with adequate subsequent development, can lead to an important transformation of the textile sector in the coming years. A transformation that the regulator has initiated with this Law 7/2022 but that the textile companies of our country must continue so that this objective of a more circular fashion truly becomes a reality in the coming years.

He then intervened Joseph Louis Quintana. He began his speech by commenting that the consumption of textile products represents in 2022 the fourth largest negative impact on the environment and climate change, and the third highest in the use of water and land from the perspective of the life cycle on a global scale. global. In this way, the regulator, both national and EU, is beginning to legislate on the problem of textile waste.

In Spain, The recently approved Law 7/2022, of April 8, on waste and contaminated soil for a circular economy has regulated textile waste for the first time in our country, contains specific measures regarding the prevention of textile waste, such as the prohibition of destruction or its disposal by depositing unsold surpluses in landfills, and in relation to their management, establishing the obligation of separate collection of this waste with prior to December 31, 2024 and the forecast of the extension of the extended responsibility of the producer to textiles in 2025.

In the EU, he pointed out, the Strategy for the circularity and sustainability of textile products contains the roadmap of the European Commission regarding this environmental problem. Highlight that The future ecodesign regulations are already being processed and will contain mandatory measures for textiles with the aim of making their design more sustainable, favoring the circularity of the sector. In addition, the Commission expresses in this Strategy its willingness to regulate the destruction of surpluses, the establishment of information measures and a digital textile passport with data on circularity and key environmental aspects or the setting of minimums in the regulation of responsibility extension of the textile producer. He concluded his speech by commenting that the objective is that in 2030 all textile products that are marketed in the European Union are durable and recyclable, as well as manufactured largely with recycled fibers, free of dangerous substances and produced with respect for social rights and enviroment.

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