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EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles aims to protect water resources

Kategorie:
Thema:
Autor: Patricia Santos

EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles aims to protect water resources
The Strategy shows the will of the European Commission to make a shift in the EU from low-cost ‘fast fashion’ towards sustainable and recyclable textiles.

July 11, 2022 | The strategy will help the EU shift to a climate-neutral, circular economy where products are designed to be more durable, recyclable and energy-efficient. The proposed Strategy should help decreasing the impacts of the textile industry on water resources.

EurEau comments on the Strategy

EurEau, the European Federation of National Associations of Water Services, welcomes the publication of the Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles. It shows the will of the European Commission to make a shift from low-cost ‘fast fashion’ towards high quality, more durable, sustainable, and recyclable textiles. The proposed Strategy will close product loops, address the problem of hazardous substances use as well as reduce microplastic emissions from textiles.

Actions designed to decrease the impact on water resources are welcome

As mentioned in the Strategy, “in the EU, the consumption of textiles, most of which are imported, now accounts on average for the fourth highest negative impact on the environment and on climate change and third highest for water and land use from a global life cycle perspective”. EurEau supports this assessment and welcomes actions designed to decrease this impact on water resources at all stages of the production, consumption, and reuse cycle. Regrettably, the Strategy does not propose water saving measures in the textile industry.

Like other sectors, wastewater treatment plants are called on to embrace circular economy principles. Our sector is keen to transform urban wastewater treatment plants (UWWTP) into resource factories. This can only be achieved when hazardous substances and microplastics are avoided at the sources and, hence, do not arrive at the treatment plant. This control-at-source approach is paramount as some of them (mobile substances including many PFAS) cannot be removed during the treatment process and may be released into the aquatic environment, while others (microplastics) may contaminate sewage sludge and limit circular economy options.

A robust Strategy can put in place legislation that will protect water resources

The European Commission has the tools in its hands to make a significant and long-lasting positive change to our future. A robust EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles can put in place legislation that will protect our water resources and promote a truly circular economy; a lasting legacy of Europe’s Zero Pollution ambition.

More information on the Strategy is available here.

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