Textile Waste Recycling Potential Ignored

By 27 May 2018

ZAGREB, May 27, 2018 - The economic potential of clothing and footwear waste is not adequately recognised in Croatia and of the 52,000 tonnes of that type of waste collected in 2016, only 4% was recycled, which is a highly discouraging rate, it was said at a conference on the management of textile waste and job creation in the textile waste industry held in Zagreb.

The event was organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), whose department for waste management in the textile and clothing industry was formed two years ago with the aim of defining better solutions to that problem. The HGK conference was held as part of the European Commission's Euro Green Week event promoting the circular economy.

Jagoda Divić of the HGK Industry and IT Division said that the textile industry was one of the biggest and fastest-growing industries globally and that its output in the last ten years had doubled globally, while in Croatia it was going down due to growing imports. She said that the share of materials recycled from waste was only 18% in Croatia as against 44% in the EU.

Huge quantities of clothing are discarded globally, including Croatia, Divić said, noting that 96% of textile waste in Croatia ended up on landfills. She called for changing this situation, noting that Croatia was expected to do so also under EU directives.

More on this topic could be heard from Sandra Radović of the Environmental Protection and Energy Ministry and Dunja Drmac of the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex) from Brussels, who both said that under new EU directives textile waste sorting and collection would be obligatory as of 2025.

"Under the national 2017-2022 waste management plan, as of 2022 around 50% of the total amount of specific types of waste is to be sorted, including textile waste," said Radović.