In various European countries it already exists or is about to be introduced: The EPR – Extended Producer Responsibility for textile products. In the Netherlands, the textile EPR will now also become a reality in 2023.
Manufacturers or importers of textiles – but also fashion online shops that deliver to Dutch consumers from abroad – will be obliged from this year onwards to deal with the circular economy of their products. And in particular what happens to their products after use.
But what exactly will change in the rules regarding the textile EPR in the Netherlands from 2023? And what does it actually mean? Do online retailers now have to take action?
- What does EPR – or Textile-EPR – actually mean?
- Which regulations currently exist in Europe?
- What changes are expected in the Netherlands in 2023?
- What consequences does this have for consumers and companies?
- Who will be affected?
- What do I have to do if I am affected?
- What is the intention of this Textile EPR?
What does EPR – or Textile-EPR – actually mean?
EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) puts the producers and importers of products in charge of the entire cycle of their goods, including the stage of waste as final step as well. The aim is to encourage copanies to reuse or recyle materials and provide a large proportion of them – in this case textiles – as a new raw material. Other sectors such as car tyres, cars, mattresses, packaging, as well as electrical appliances and batteries also work with EPR in many countries.
Which regulations currently exist in Europe?
So far, rules according to EPR for textiles within Europe only existed in France, as well as on a voluntary basis in Belgium. In Germany, there are corresponding regulations for packaging, WEEE and batteries which we already discussed this in this article:
What changes are expected in the Netherlands in 2023?
At the moment, there are no obligations according to textile EPR in the Netherlands. Until now, goods made of textiles could be imported into the country without having to worry about what happens to them after use.
This will change this year – expected from 01.07.2023.
What consequences does this have for consumers and companies?
Consumers will not directly benefit or be harmed by this innovation for the moment. However, the EPR does have an impact on the textile industry. Consumers can now hand in their textiles at collection points and thus ensure that they are reused instead of simply throwing them away. The more this system is used, the better the impact on our environment.
Textile manufacturers or importers as well as fashion brands that ship to the Netherlands will be responsible for the disposal of their products entering the market starting from July 2023. This means that clothing manufacturers and brands must ensure the collection, recycling, reuse and waste phase of the products they put on the market.
Who will be affected?
This new regulation for Textile-EPR applies to all companies that professionally offer clothing on the Dutch market. This means all manufacturers and importers of consumer clothing, workwear and corporate clothing as well as table, bed, table and household linen. In addition, it does not matter whether the textiles are offered to a company (B2B) or to end consumers (B2C, D2C).
This also applies to textiles which are made from partially recycled material.
Excluded from the regulation are Dutch second-hand shops, because these clothes already exist on the market. And companies from the Netherlands that supply basic materials for production – in other words, do not sell finished products.
In short – the Textile EPR applies to all companies that sell clothing on the Dutch market, whether to private or commercial end consumers.
So specifically affected by the new legislation are:
- Label/brand owners who are based in the Netherlands and control their own production.
- (Online) retailers from the Netherlands who sell clothing/textiles under their own label
Importers of clothing/textiles to other companies
- Online retailers (based and stocked outside the Netherlands) who supply Dutch consumers (e.g. Amazon retailers).
This therefore also applies to foreign online traders who sell textiles on the Dutch market!
What do I have to do if I am affected?
Producers or importers within the definition of the EPR Textile Decree are obliged to ensure that consumers can drop off their textile products at a collection point free of charge at any time and anywhere in the Netherlands.
Furthermore, you have to prove what happens to the textile waste or that it is properly collected and recycled.
In addition, you have to report annually on the amount of textiles that are imported into the Dutch market and whether and how the collection, recycling and reuse targets have been met.
Currently, the municipalities are responsible for the collection and the costs of managing the used textiles of their inhabitants. With the introduction of the EPR, the responsibility lies only with the producer. They have to pay for the waste management. Fashion retailers become responsible for collecting and recycling discarded clothing.
This is done by registering with a legally approved EPR scheme. That also applies to foreign online retailers. In addition, they need an authorised representative from the Netherlands who registers the corresponding products and quantities on their behalf.
If you have any questions according to the regulations or if you need help getting an authorized representative, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What is the intention of this Textile EPR?
According to the government, the aim of introducing the EPR is that 50% of the release on the Dutch market should be recycled by 2025. By 2030, this should even be increased to 75%. Currently, only 35% of all textiles are recycled.
It is expected that this EPR (Uitgebreide productionntenverantwoordelijkheid, UPV) for textiles will come into force on 1 July 2023.
But NOTE – This date depends on the adoption of the measure by the Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament, the proclamation of the Council Regulation or Ministerial Decree and the publication in the Staatsblad (Official Gazette, in Dutch).
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