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Impact assessment of policies promoting fiber-to-fiber recycling of textiles

Author:
  • Maria Elander
  • Naoko Tojo
  • Haben Tekie
  • Magnus Hennlock
Publishing year: 2017-06
Language: English
Pages:
Document type: Report
Publisher: Mistra Future Fashion

Abstract english

As part of the Mistra Future Fashion Research Program, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) and PlanMiljø have investigated policy options promoting (fiber-to-fiber) recycling of textile waste. The ambition was to contribute to and broaden the discussion regarding potential policy measures in the textile field as well as potential elements that can be included in such policies.
Ten policy measures promoting fiber-to-fiber recycling of textiles, contributing to circular flows of textile waste, were identified and described. Two policy measures were selected for impact assessment: mandatory extended producer responsibility (EPR) and refunded virgin payments (RVP). The policy evaluation was carried out as an ex-ante assessment with regard to eight policy goals. Stakeholder views on the identified and assessed policy measures were collected in a policy workshop and via an online questionnaire.
There is a potential to broaden the scope of policy measures promoting fiber-to-fiber recycling of textiles compared to the policy recommendations made by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). New policy measures in the textile field should embrace potentials to generate upstream improvements and increasing the demand for recycled textile fibers.
Although the Swedish EPA suggests a mandatory EPR for textiles as one of two alternative policy options for handling of textile waste, the proposal focuses almost exclusively on downstream improvements. The mandatory EPR assessed in this report includes additional elements, embracing also the potential of an EPR system to generate upstream improvements.
Economic instruments have shown to be successful measures to reduce environmental externalities. The RVP system assessed in this report adds a new perspective on potential ways and means to promote recycling of textiles complementing the investigation on how public bodies can contribute to more reuse and recycling of textiles by green public procurement suggested by the Swedish EPA.
Both a mandatory EPR and a RVP system have potentials to have large positive impacts on fiber-to-fiber recycling as well as overall recycling of textiles. A mandatory EPR system has the same or larger positive impacts on all eight policy goals defined in this report compared to a RVP system. A mandatory EPR system embodies the potential to integrate a range (combination) of complementing policy measures whereas an RVP system should be complemented by additional policy measures.

Keywords

  • Environmental Management
  • Fibre-to-fibre recycling
  • policy design
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
  • refunded virgin payments
  • Policy assessment
  • textile

Other

Published
Naoko Tojo
E-mail: naoko.tojo [at] iiiee.lu.se


International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

Lund University P.O. Box 196, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Visiting Address: Tegnérsplatsen 4,Lund

Telephone: + 46 46 222 00 00 Fax: + 46 46 222 02 10