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EuRIC takes action to ‘reshape’ textiles recycling sector

The world's first automatic textile recycling facility is being built in Malmö, Sweden, by the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

Between 30-50% of discarded textiles from households is collected in Europe. In a bid to support textiles recyclers, the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) has launched a new group.

The initiative is known as EuRIC Textiles and boasts an executive committee elected during a meeting on 3 December. The primary focus will be on promoting, representing and protecting the collective interests of the European textiles reuse and recycling industry but also to work closely with the textiles industry to explore mutual interests.

Mariska Zandvliet, from the Boer Group in the Netherlands, is the inaugural president and her vice-presidents are Martin Wittmann of Lorenz Wittmann (Germany) and Mehdi Zerroug of Ecotextile (France).

Zandvliet says ‘Our industry has a nice story to tell about how we give a second life to used textiles. The way we handle and process used textiles will be completely re-shaped by the forthcoming European strategy on textiles in the coming months, with many opportunities to address the numerous challenges we are facing.’

She believes the industry needs a strong European voice and EuRIC Textiles will be that voice for us in Brussels. ‘Together with my European colleagues, I look forward to informing, advising and guiding EU policy makers on all issues linked to textiles re-use and recycling,’ Zandvliet adds.

Founding members of EuRIC Textiles include ARTSHC, Assorecuperi, bvse, COBEREC, Etcimex, FEDEREC, FER, Texaid, Textrade and VHT, who have delegated experts from leading textiles re-use and recycling companies to EuRIC.

EuRIC has member federations from 21 EU&EFTA countries across Europe and represents more than 5500 companies generating an aggregated annual turnover of about EUR 95 billion.

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