From 1 July 2023, the Dutch Government has introduced the 'extended producer responsibility' (UPV) measure. This means that producers of textile products are responsible for their textile products in the waste phase: the phase in which the consumer, the user of the textile, no longer needs it. Textile producers must then ensure that the textile is collected - without costs for the consumer - so that it can be reused and recycled.
The rules apply to all producers who sell new textiles in the Netherlands. This concerns a number of types of textile:
• clothing, such as shirts, sweaters and trousers;
• bed linen, such as duvet covers and fitted sheets;
• table linen, such as tablecloths;
• household linen, such as towels and tea towels.
The measure therefore also concerns Bo Weevil.
Purpose of the UPV measure
The purpose of the measure is to counteract the negative impact of textiles on the environment and to reuse and recycle more textiles.
The general tendency is: 'The impact of textiles on the environment is huge. To make textiles, a lot of land, water and energy is needed and many chemicals are used. In addition, textile waste is increasing. In the Netherlands, more than 50% of textiles end up with residual household waste. And that is expected to increase, because more and more textiles are being made and bought. Clothing is also worn for a shorter period and reused less often.' (source: rijksoverheid.nl)
Bo Weevil is very concerned about this trend. And that may sound strange as a textile producer, but we believed already more than 30 years that things could be done differently. It was one of the reasons that the founder of Bo Weevil was a forerunner in setting up the cultivation of organic cotton. Precisely to reduce the use of chemicals and to use water as efficiently as possible, so that the entire biodiversity remains in balance.
The tendency for consumers to buy more clothes and wear them shorter, also has to do with fashion trends, fast fashion. The continuous temptation of the consumer to buy more and more often is the existing rights of many fashion brands. Bo Weevil is in favour of reducing consumption and developing more products made from sustainable materials.
The idea that more products should be recycled and the yarn reused is a logical consequence. For that reason, Bo Weevil got GRS certified (Global Recycled Standard) in 2022. More information can be found here.
How does Bo Weevil deal with the UPV measure?
Bo Weevil has joined the UPV Textile Foundation. The UPV Textile Foundation supports producers and importers of clothing and household textiles in their individual UPV obligations. It does this by collectively organizing the collection, reuse and recycling of discarded textiles on behalf of the participating companies. The foundation also encourages consumers to return more clothing and textiles separately via the textile bin or shops.
How does the foundation organize the collection and processing to achieve the goals?
The structure of the collection is in line with the existing infrastructure for textile collection and processing. Currently, about 35% of textiles are reused and recycled, but this should be increased to 50% in 2025, requiring additional measures. The foundation works together with the sector to devise initiatives to achieve these objectives. In addition, the foundation will make agreements on behalf of the affiliated producers and importers with other stakeholders, such as collectors, municipalities, sorters, second-hand shops and recyclers.
In this way, the consumer can return old textiles free of charge all year round. One of the government's requirements.