BRUSSELS – The European Union has announced a raft of new developments with its voluntary Green Public Procurement (GPP) criteria for textiles products and services. With criteria largely based on the EU Ecolabel criteria for textiles, this is an area with a high public spend, particularly in the uniforms of military, police and hospital staff. With the EU Ecolabel closing in on its 25th birthday, recent changes to EU Ecolabel criteria for textiles have focused on sustainable cottons, recycled synthetics, the recovery of wool waste and man-made cellulosics.
The updated criteria aims to reduce the environmental impacts of textiles destined for use in European public sectors. As part of this, public authorities are being encouraged to purchase textiles that contain recycled materials or which are made from fibres that are produced using less fertilisers and hazardous chemicals. Longer lasting fabrics, textiles that use less energy when being washed and services that maximise the recycling potential of textiles are also being encouraged.