New report shows benefits of decreasing textile waste!

Posted at 27 September, 2016 | Categories : News |

Swedes consume around 13 kg of textiles per person and year. Approximately half of this eventually ends up in the waste bin. This is problematic from a resource use perspective given that these textiles could in many cases have been re-used or re cycled to new textiles or e.g. insulation materials. Anthesis Enveco have on behalf of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency analysed how large part of the textiles in household waste could be diverted to other collection means and what costs and benefits that would be associated with this.

Three separate collection responsibility scenarios are analysed; the current system where responsibility is held mainly by the municipalities, a producer responsibility alternative and compulsory collection by new legislation. The time horizon for the analysis is to 2030. The benefits of decreasing textiles in waste bins consist primarily of avoided environmental damage due to e.g. decreased production. The major costs associated with decreases consist primarily of handling costs and the households cost of time for sorting. A general conclusion is that around 40 % of textiles in the household waste would need to be diverted to other destinations to achieve social profitability.

The analysis does not include costs related to information and administration. If these are included a higher level would be needed. A decrease by 60 % by is deemed reasonable towards the end of the studied period given levels achieved in other systems and in other countries. This decrease is also judged as being more probable for the two latter responsibility alternatives, producer responsibility and new legislation. Such a decrease would be profitable and imply yearly benefits of almost 100 million SEK.

You can find the report here (with summary in English).

For more information please contact Erik Wallentin (