UK textiles Extended Producer Responsibility

18th December 2018

How could a textiles Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system help prevent textile waste and divert used textiles from landfill in the UK?

This report explores how a textiles Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system could help the UK secure and develop waste prevention and landfill diversion for used textiles. It considers whether this is the most appropriate solution and whether it would it need to be supplemented with other measures.

The report examines what can be learned from France, which currently is the only country with a textiles EPR system in operation, and the implications for the UK.  It is important to recognise that the UK context is quite different. The decision to set up a textiles EPR scheme in France was driven not only by waste management costs considerations as with other EPR schemes, but also by social considerations as the sector is a key employer of people facing employment difficulties.

If fees were set at the same level as France, producers might contribute around £35m in the UK. However, the fees are set to match the needs of the sector, not the other way around, so the fees might look different in the UK.

The fee income collected as part of an EPR scheme could be used in a range of ways to help the UK secure and develop textile waste prevention and landfill diversion. This might include working with the textiles sector to help ensure there is a range of sustainable end-markets for reuse and recycling.