Czechia announces mandatory collection of textile waste from 2025

Minister of Environment Petr Hladík criticized Czechia's current system for not sorting waste enough. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 05.12.2023 11:03:00 (updated on 07.12.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Ministry of the Environment has announced plans to enforce compulsory textile waste collection starting in 2025. This initiative, announced during a Monday press conference led by Minister Petr Hladík, aims to align with the European directive on waste management. Producers will assist municipalities in bearing the collection costs.

A focus on reusing

The priority, emphasized by Minister Hladík, lies in fostering textile reuse and efficient recycling practices. Presently, textiles often get discarded into mixed waste bins, hindering recycling efforts significantly. The proposed strategy targets enhancing citizen engagement by establishing collection points across municipalities.

As of now, approximately 10,000 textile containers dot the Czech Republic, but the existing Waste Act merely mandates collection points, not recycling. Minister Hladík underscored the lack of financial compensation to municipalities for establishing these collection points under the previous government.

The envisioned system aims to expand beyond containers, integrating collection points in varied locations like town halls and retail outlets, akin to existing setups for electrical waste and batteries.

The financial dynamics of this initiative mirror the current model for other recyclable materials like glass or plastic. Fees for textile recycling could potentially be shared between sellers and manufacturers, with eventual implications for consumer pricing. However, the specific cost impact remains undetermined.

More textile waste across Czechia

Highlighting the urgency of action, Director of Environmental Protection at the Environment Ministry David Suré noted a yearly rise in textile waste production in the Czech Republic. Alarmingly, around 180,000 tons of textiles are discarded annually, with a mere 3 to 4 percent entering mixed waste bins and 39,000 tons being sorted for recycling.

In contrast, non-recyclable contaminated waste in mixed bins amounts to a staggering 75,000 tons yearly, underscoring the imperative to revamp current waste management practices.

The proposed mandatory textile recycling initiative forms part of ongoing legislative discussions, including the implementation of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle recycling laws set to take effect in 2025. The plan encompasses the creation of approximately 11,000 collection points, facilitating returns at shops, gas stations, and even online platforms. Moreover, a proposed CZK 4 deposit for PET bottles and cans is suggested, exceeding the current deposit for glass bottles by CZK 1.

This legislative amendment also tackles uncharged waste categories like advertising leaflets, further consolidating a comprehensive approach to recycling and waste management.

The Ministry of Environment's initiative aligns with broader legislative strategies to enhance recycling practices across multiple waste categories, emphasizing the need for comprehensive action to mitigate environmental impact.

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