Europe Moves Closer to EPR for Textiles

· EU,EPR or Recycling

WHAT: On March 13, 2024, MEPs voted on new waste reduction measures focused on food and textiles:

MEPs agree to extend producer responsibility (EPR) schemes, through which producers that sell textiles in the EU would have to cover the costs for collecting, sorting and recycling them separately. Member states would have to establish these schemes 18 months after the entry into force of the directive (compared to 30 months proposed by the Commission). The new rules would cover products such as clothing and accessories, blankets, bed linen, curtains, hats, footwear, mattresses and carpets, including products that contain textile-related materials such as leather, composition leather, rubber or plastic.

IT'S NOT YET LAW: This was just the first reading. It now goes to the EU Council for consideration before going to a final vote, possibly this fall, in Parliment.

WILL IT BECOME LAW?: It is possible that a member state decides not to support this in light of current economic issues in the EU. If one member state votes no, then this legislation is halted until there is an adjustment to sort out issues.

THERE WILL BE A TAX: We have been told by our partners in Europe that shoes are not currently the priority, textules are. Discussions on how to look and organize shoes is yet to fully occur. But we do know as part of this new scheme there will be a EPR tax - we've heard $0.12 per pair - to fund waste management infrastructure. *This tax can be reduced based on certain eco-design features that will make it easier to recycle/reuse/or based on durability. More to come...


Right now you should be looking at what partners are in Europe to work with when it comes to repair, resale and donations. Our friends at Erren Recondition is a great place to start. *You will not be able to destroy unsold goods or transfer it out of the E.U. as part of the continued discussions.


  • Right now, France is the only EU country with an official EPR program.
  • The difficultly for EU policymakers is that there is no real waste infrastructure
    that can properly sort shoes and textiles with a focus on recycling them. Each
    locality in Europe has different waste management systems.
  • It may be that EPR starts with an additional tax on goods imported to provide
    funding to develop the necessary infrastructure. We could foresee something
    like a 12 cents a pair EPRtax as the system is set up. This would likely be a tax that would never go away.
  • There may also be tax benefits for shoes that are more easily recycled or repaired to
    encourage the development of industry-specific circular systems as the
    government continues to build EPR policy and enactments.
  • There are current projects across Europe testing our machines and systems to sort and
    grind shoes. The challenge will be that each country may have a different way
    to collect, different machines to grind and different industries using shoe
  • The EU wants to set up more circular systems where shoes go back into shoes, but
    that require capital and capacity – this is also where eco-design requirements
    and DPP will fold in with this…to help make shoes easier to recycle.