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Source: European Parliament

It is estimated that more than three million tonnes of textile waste is generated each year in the EU Member States. The volume of textile waste has increased dramatically due to low-cost clothes chains, the widespread introduction of online sales and effective image marketing.

A clothing industry based on a culture of disposability is not sustainable economically, environmentally or, in many cases, in terms of working conditions either. According to some estimates, emissions from the textile industry alone are equal to those from the world’s combined air and maritime transport.

Under the new Waste Directive, EU Member States are obliged, for the first time, to organise separate collection of textile waste. However, this is only a first step towards reducing textile waste. Arrangements for recycling and reusing textile waste are still limited. In the future, textiles should play an important role in promoting the circular economy.

What steps has the Commission taken to reduce textile waste and improve arrangements for recycling it?

What action can the Commission take at international level to put the global textile industry on a more sustainable footing with regard to the environment and working conditions?

Is the Commission prepared to allocate research and innovation funding to promoting a sustainable textile industry?

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