Extended Producer Responsibility for Textiles

What is Extended Producer Responsibility?

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) holds producers and importers accountable for the entire cycle of a product, up to and including the waste phase. By doing so, the government wants to encourage companies to raise an increasing percentage of waste for reuse and recycling and make it available as a new raw material. Other industries such as car tires, cars, mattresses, packaging and electrical appliances also work with EPR. Similar regulations are already in place in other EU countries and EPR legislation will be mandatory in the EU from 2025.

Individual obligations for producers and importers
The EPR for Textiles Decree is a legal obligation and comes into force in 2023. With the Decree, producers and importers of clothing and household textiles become responsible for the waste phase of products they release on the Dutch market.

The EPR for Textiles Decree holds producers and importers individually accountable for:

  • organizing an appropriate separate collection system and financing it.
  • the obligation to ensure recycling and reuse of collected textiles.

The government has defined targets to this: 50% of the release on the Dutch market must be recycled/reused in 2025, gradually increasing to 75% in 2030. Currently, approximately 35% is reused and recycled.

What does this mean for my organization?

The EPR for Textiles Decree applies to producers and importers who professionally release consumer clothing, work & corporate wear, table, bed-, table and household linen on the Dutch market. This also applies to textiles with recycled content. It does not matter to whom the product is offered; this can be to a company, or directly to a consumer.

Are you a producer or importer in accordance with the EPR for Textiles Decree? Then you are responsible for the separate collection and processing of discarded textiles. You must ensure that consumers and other end users can always hand in your products at a collection point, anywhere in the Netherlands and free of charge. You must also be able to demonstrate what happens to the textile waste. And you report annually on the quantity of textiles you have released on the Dutch market and whether and how the collection, recycling and reuse targets have been met.

As a producer and importer of clothing and textiles, you formally have an individual responsibility, but you may have it carried out collectively by a producer organization.

Stichting UPV Textiel is happy to help you comply with the law. Together we make the textile industry more sustainable.

Why participate in the collective?

Organizing an appropriate, effective and affordable collection system and achieving reuse and recycling targets is complex and costly. Especially when you have to take care of this individually. It is therefore important to join forces and share financial burdens. On behalf of you and other participating companies, Stichting UPV Textiel makes agreements with municipalities, collectors, sorters, recycling shops, recyclers and with companies that develop new initiatives for the collection and processing of textiles. With the annual fee, which you pay from 2024 on the weight of clothes and textiles you release on the Dutch market every year, the costs of collection and processing are covered and part of this can be invested in innovations and knowledge sharing in the field of high-quality recycling. In this way, companies can take responsibility together and realize the set objectives.

By participating in Stichting UPV Textiel, you comply with your EPR obligations in a simple and affordable way. Together we make the textile industry more sustainable.

Frequently asked questions

The EPR for Textiles Decree applies to producers and importers who professionally release consumer clothing, work & corporate wear, bed-, table-, and household linen on the Dutch market. This also applies to textiles with recycled content. It does not matter to whom the product is offered; this can be to a company, or directly to a consumer.

A producer/importer is the one who puts textiles on the market in the Netherlands for the first time. Putting on the market: making textile products available on the market in the Netherlands for the first time. Usually this is the same as the moment when VAT is charged for the first time.

For example:

  • A label/brand owner based in the Netherlands who controls the production itself.
  • An (online) retail party based in the Netherlands that (also) puts clothing/textiles under its own brand on the market (e.g. Bijenkorf or H&M).
  • An importer of clothing/textiles who sells to other companies, for example to retailers like a supermarket.
  • An online party based outside the Netherlands that operates from a storage location abroad directly to the Dutch consumer (e.g. Amazon, SHEIN, Aliexpress). This e-commerce party is also obliged to appoint an authorized representative in the Netherlands for the implementation of all obligations in the context of EPR for Textiles.

For the EPR for Textiles Decree is not regarded as a producer/importer:

  • A thrift shop for the sale of Dutch second-hand clothing. After all, these clothes have already been put on the market.
  • A company based in the Netherlands that supplies semi-finished products/basic materials for the manufacturing of consumer clothing, work & corporate wear, bed-, table and household linen.

In a number of specific cases, the law does not yet provide sufficient information. This may require further implementation of the EPR for Textiles Decree.

The EPR for Textiles relates to consumer clothing (HS/GN 61 and 62), work & corporate wear (61 and 62), bed linen (6302), table linen (6302) and household linen, for example towels and tea towels (6302).

The EPR obligation applies to products marketed in the Netherlands. The producer/importer declares all these products, also when is not clear where the products go to later in the chain. The starting point is that the contribution is paid only once. Within the collective we are working on a settlement and export refund is possible for textiles on which a contribution has been paid, as with other UPV systems. This needs to be elaborated in consultation with the sector to decide what is a practical manageable system. With individual participation (not through a collective), such a settlement is not easy to achieve.

Complying with the legislation on EPR for Textiles is an individual legal obligation, but the EPR states that this may be carried out collectively by means of a producer organization. MODINT and INretail have taken the initiative for a collective implementation by establishing Stichting UPV Textiel (EPR Foundation for Textiles). This foundation will act as a producer organization and works for the entire sector, both members and non-members. In other sectors that preceded (packaging, tyres, cars, electronic devices, …), this appears to be the best way to keep the EPR efficiently, effectively and affordable. The foundation wants to cooperate with systems in other EU countries. Companies who are active on the international market have an interest in this.

The EU has promised harmonization through directives. Every EU Member State must design separate textile collection by 2025 at the latest. The legal background to this is the recent update of the EU Waste Framework Directive. This is one of the reasons that the EPR for Textiles Decree was created in the Netherlands. Producers are obliged to set up an adequate collection system. It is expected that several Member States will follow the example of France (already 12 years) and the Netherlands. MODINT is a member of the European trade association Euratex. Together they lobby to ensure harmonization of the EPR for Textiles Decree within the European textiles industry.

The basic principle is that the structure to be organized is in line with the existing infrastructure for textiles collection and processing. Currently, approximately 35% is reused and recycled, this should increase to 50% in 2025. Extra measures must therefore be taken. On behalf of the affiliated producers and importers, the foundation will discuss this with municipalities, collectors, sorters, thrift shops, recyclers and with companies that develop new initiatives for collection and processing. It is also important that consumers are encouraged to separate textiles better.

Stichting UPV Textiel has drawn up a budget for the costs of designing and setting up a collective collection and processing system. For this purpose, a provisional fee is planned in 2024 to finance these costs. This is estimated at an average of approximately € 0.03 a piece for 2024. For 2025, the budget for the first operational year amounts to an average fee of approximately € 0.06 a piece. These are indications and based on an estimated market size in units and a large participation in the collective declaration by the foundation. A cost price study is planned in 2023 to map the total costs of collecting and processing discarded textiles accurately and as reliably as possible, together with the various stakeholders. This forms the basis for the annual fee. The cost price study will take place periodically.

The law assumes a reportable weight (kilos), but the market often works with pieces. It has not yet been determined for the declaration system whether producers/importers must declare kilos or pieces. Stichting UPV Textiel will further develop this declaration system in consultation with the sector. The starting point is a fair and practically applicable system.

Producer/importer pays a fee to the producer organization allowing a separate collection, reuse and recycling, support to innovation/transition circular, cooperation in a sustainable supply chain & waste handling/processing.

According to the EPR for Textiles Decree, each producer/importer is responsible for the weight put on the market. A small proportion of these companies will market most of the weight. To keep the administrative burden low, Stichting UPV Textiel is investigating the possibility of using a threshold for companies that do not put a lot of weight on the market.

On the basis of the EPR for Textiles Decree, Stichting UPV Textiel must assess whether rate differentiation on the basis of sustainability indicators is feasible and useful. The foundation will conduct further research into this in the near future, for example to stimulate the application of recycled content in clothing/textiles. The foundation will work closely with the sector to develop a fair and applicable form of rate differentiation.

When you register with Stichting UPV Textiel, you must sign a participants’ agreement. In this agreement you indicate that the producer organization will carry out the EPR obligations on your behalf and that you will comply with the agreements linked to this. The addition to the participants' agreement, Textielbeheersbijdrage Overeenkomst (TBBO), contains further details regarding rates, threshold and agreements made with other stakeholders. The latter will be presented to you in the course of 2023.

In preparation for reporting the collective to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, you estimate the amount of textiles your company expects to put on the market in the Netherlands in 2023. This is a first declaration that is only required for the notification of the collective and has nothing to do with future financial fees. From 2024, you must declare the amount of textiles that you in have put on the market in the Netherlands in 2023. Based on this, you will pay a provisional fee in 2024. Exactly what that declaration will look like, for example in pieces or kilos, will be determined in 2023.

There is great enthusiasm: many companies are substantively interested, take the subject seriously and indicate they would like to join the collective. As with other UPV systems, the collective needs volume to set up an efficient, effective and affordable collection and processing system in the Netherlands for textiles. We count on a majority of the total weight put into the market and of the total number of companies. This majority is needed for a Algemeen Verbindend Verklaring, by which all producers/importers that put textiles in the Netherlands on the market must pay a textile contribution.

Stichting UPV Textiel makes agreements about collection and processing with various stakeholders and will ensure that these are complied with. In addition, participants have the obligation to declare quantities and pay the annual fee. The foundation monitors and reports to the Ministry of of Infrastructure en Water Management and is the point of contact for compliance on behalf of the participants for the Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport (ILT).