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Published on Thursday, 09 October 2014

Report questions eco-gains of take-back schemes

Written by John Mowbray

Re-used clothing sorting: image courtesy of I:CO

OSLO – A new report has called for more widespread adoption of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes in order to boost textile recycling efforts in Norway. The report also suggests that clothing take-back schemes such as that run by H&M, which offer rebate coupons on new products in return for used clothing, "risk off-setting the environmental gains of these schemes" and urges retailers to "consider alternative incentives."

The researchers looked at EPR systems and business models which reduce life-cycle impacts from the production and use of textiles by extending the active lifetime of textile products. They carried out a detailed evaluation of the costs and benefits of 4 EPR models, these being mandatory EPR, voluntary collective EPR, in-store collection with a partner, and resell of own brand.