Romania reuses and recycles up to 10% of textile waste

Green Forum
Around 160,000 tons of textile waste are thrown away in Romania every year, according to the Romanian Association for Textile Reuse and Recycling (ARETEX), an organization with 10 members active in the local textile recycling and reuse industry, with a combined turnover of over €50 million.

According to it, of the total textile waste generated, recyclable would be around 6-10%, under existing legislative and market conditions, and the percentage could increase to 25% with a developed selective collection, i.e. a reuse and recycling industry with high sorting capacities by composition and quality, supported by an Extended Producer Responsibility structure and in the textile industry.
According to ARETEX, the majority of textile waste currently goes to landfill or energy recovery. On the other hand, Romania reuses about 8-10% of its reusable potential and 2-4% for recycling. 

"Of the current volume collected separately for reuse, reusable is about 30-35%. But the separate collection is relatively small, we estimate it at 6,000-9,000 tonnes per year. The current collection rate in Romania is 0.5-0.7 kg per person per year, while in Western countries the collection is between 6-14 kg per person per year. In the case of our neighbors, for example in Hungary, about 10,000 tonnes of used clothing is collected annually, equivalent to 0.8-1.2 kg per person. The purpose of collection is extremely important, especially if it is reuse," explains Zoltán Gündisch, President of ARETEX and Managing Director of Mendola Group, of which textile recycler Roseco is part. 
According to him, reuse is the least impactful management option for all waste fractions investigated and landfilling is associated with the highest negative environmental impact. In practice, reuse has 70 times less environmental impact than the production of new clothes.  
Romania has up to 20 companies active in sorting and preparing for reuse and recycling

According to ARETEX data, around 20 companies are operating in Romania in the field of sorting and preparing textiles for reuse and recycling, excluding retail businesses that sell clothing already prepared for reuse. Of these, 10 are ARETEX members with a turnover of more than 50 million euros. 
All these 20 companies currently cover around 20% of the total collection required for textile reuse and recycling in our country. 

"Although Romania has enough centers for reuse, their capacity needs to be increased in the future. The main problem for the recycling industry is the difficulty of having textile waste sorted by composition and fabric type. There is a pressing need to invest in collection container infrastructure, which requires around 15,000 units to perform, but also in advanced sorting and recycling technologies," explains Zoltán Gündisch. 

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Green Forum  |  20 June, 2024 at 8:04 AM