Textile Waste Crisis: Over 100,000 Tonnes Disposed Annually in Bulgaria

Industry | January 4, 2024, Thursday // 13:32|  views

A staggering amount of over 100,000 tonnes of textiles is discarded annually in Bulgaria, a study reveals, spotlighting the nation's looming textile waste crisis. Startling statistics indicate that merely 2% of this colossal amount undergoes recycling, while an estimated 50% to 70% remains suitable for continued use, according to the Association for Textile Recycling.

Presently, Bulgaria's textile collection system operates solely on a voluntary basis, with various associations collaborating with municipalities for separate collection and recovery of textile waste. However, the country's dependence on citizens' goodwill and environmental consciousness may soon transition to a mandatory regime for all.

The impending shift towards mandatory textile recovery aligns with the extended producer responsibility being introduced as a requirement for textiles and footwear in EU member states under the revised Waste Framework Directive. Notably, Bulgaria lacks a recovery organization, a key feature in numerous European countries, posing a need for the country to bolster its recycling infrastructure to support the circular economy.

While certain EU nations like France, the Netherlands, and Hungary have embraced mandatory collective textile collection systems, Bulgaria's current voluntary setup is set to undergo transformation. The impact of recycling textiles is substantial, with every kilogram of second-hand clothes saving 5.9 kg of carbon dioxide and 5,448 litres of water.

The concerning environmental impact of the textile industry is also highlighted, with the sector being a significant water consumer and contributor to global water pollution. Alarmingly, the greenhouse gas emissions from textile production rival those generated by aviation, rail, and shipping combined.

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Tags: textile, waste, recycling, Bulgaria


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