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Touchpoint of View: EU's separate textiles waste collection and recycling obligation


Even workwear doesn't last forever, and you can't avoid waste. However, we can take care of them responsibly.

Many have certainly come across in the news or on other channels about the EU's future separate textiles waste collection and recycling obligation for textiles, which concerns the recycling of end-of-life textiles. However, the separate textiles waste collection obligation for textiles has flexibly applied to companies as early as summer 2022. We learned this in the webinar we organized for our customers and partners at the beginning of November. Finland has wanted to be at the forefront with the obligation, and the municipalities' separate collection obligation will enter into force on January 1, 2023. At the EU level, the obligation will only come into force in 2025. We at Touchpoint also believed that the obligation would apply to companies from next year, but we were wrong; Even now, the supervising authority may intervene if textiles are found in the company's energy waste.

So, we got Sirje Stén from the Ministry of the Environment to give us a presentation on "Organizing waste management in the company and new separate collection requirements". We received a comprehensive review of waste management and a reminder that primarily the amount of waste should be reduced, and waste treatment is always the last option even for textiles that end up in use. In addition, Rester's Nina Pennanen talked about Rester's activities and the latest news in the field of textile fiber recycling. Sirje emphasized that companies do not use municipal waste management services as a rule, and companies are responsible for ensuring that the waste ends up in the correct final treatment. There was no place for the word “waste” in Nina Pennanen's speech, because even textiles worn out are material for new raw materials for Rester. Rester's machines have been running for a year now, and many lessons and successes have been learned. As an aside, we at Touchpoint are extremely proud of the work and activities of Rester, which we founded in 2019. Since the facility itself opened last year, Rester's pace has been admirable. Now that the separate collection obligation and possibly the producer responsibility obligation in the future are changing the responsibility requirements of all players in the textile industry, the pioneer's step is starting to be a little lighter. As a company, we have tried to make the industry more responsible and now all that work is starting to show.

Did you know that already from 2021, Touchpoint has committed to responsibly recycle all the textiles we deliver to our customers and to report the amount of recycling on an annual basis. At this point, we can say that more disposable textiles have been returned by Touchpoint's customers than last year.

• The textile recycling obligation has applied to companies since summer 2022

• The primary final treatment of textiles should not be incineration

• Rester recycles end-of-life textiles

• Rester accepts clean and dry end-of-life textiles

See a summary of the changes in waste legislation on the YouTube channel of the Ministry of the Environment: