Consumption and production of new textiles leads to significant environmental impact. By reusing textiles instead of purchasing new, and by recycling worn-out textiles, the use of resources, water, energy and chemicals is reduced. Increased reuse and recycling is, however, difficult to achieve without increased collection. A transparent and reliable management of textiles favouring legitimate actors on the market is required to boost the collection rates.
A voluntary certification system for used textiles is now under implementation. The certification is aimed at Nordic actors within collection and sorting of used textiles. The overall aim is to double the collected amounts of used textiles, and to strive towards a ten year goal of at least 50 percent of collected textiles are reused or where reuse is not possible, recycled.
The certification system “The Nordic textile reuse and recycling commitment” has the aim to decrease the environmental impact of textile consumption and to strenghten the competitiveness of the Nordic region by increasing reuse and recycling of textiles in the Nordic countries.
The certification system makes sure that defined criteria in a Standard for transparency and environmental performance for all phases of the collection, sorting, reuse and recycling processes of used textiles are fulfilled. The core of the commitment is the standard for transparency and environmental performance that addresses the environmental performance of collection, sorting, reuse and recycling operations, as well as issues such as transparency and reporting.
The certification system has been tested during a trial phase, read more under Trial. The results from the trial can be read here. It is currently not possible for collecters to become certified. The role as Certification System Operator (CSO), the actor in charge of the certification system, will be procured by The Nordic Waste Group on behalf of The Nordic Council of Ministers during autumn 2017.
Consumers will by following the website get information about the certified organisations to make sure that the their used textiles to reuse and recycling are managed in a sustainable way.
By following the website, local authorities will easily find certified collectors and sorters to make sure that used textiles collected at local collection points are managed in a sustainable, verified and transparent way.