Project leader

Kari-Anne Lyng


01/06/2013 -


Project manager

The Nordic Waste Group (NAG)

NMR textile project 3. EPR for Textiles

There has been an increasing focus in the Nordic region and globally on the environmental impacts from textiles. Textiles are known to have a significant environmental impact in both the production and use phases. A 2006 EU study found textiles to be the consumption area that led to highest environmental impacts after the big three of transport, food and housing. Meanwhile, the consumption of textile products globally and in Nordic countries continues to grow. The considerable size of the sector and an entirely global supply-chain puts the sector on a global agenda with respect to economic interests, trade-related issues, labour rights and environmental issues. This project will investigate which packages of policy instruments can encourage the establishment of the more promising EPR systems and new business models.

There is a significant potential to reduce environmental impacts caused by textiles both during the production and use phase. Despite the highly global nature of the value chain many of the potential measures for reducing lifecycle impacts caused by Nordic consumption of textiles can be implemented in Nordic countries. This would include encouraging changes in the way textile products are offered to, and used by, consumers and improving the process for dealing with used textiles so that it is more in line with the waste hierarchy. More than half of the used textiles in Nordic countries are currently sent to landfill or waste incineration after their first life. Encouraging waste prevention (through greater reuse and longer functional life-times of textile products) and increasing recycling of the fraction of textiles that can’t be reused will offset both the production of new textile products and the demand for raw materials for production.


This project will develop and propose possible policy packages which would encourage the establishment of extended producer responsibility (EPR) systems and innovative new business models aimed at increasing reuse and recycling of textiles in the Nordic region.


Project team