The European Union (EU) bloc has agreed to ban the destruction of unsold merchandise as part of its effort to reduce waste and encourage reuse and recycling.
The textile industry in the European Union has the fourth most significant impact on the environment and climate change, with 5.8 million tons of textiles discarded annually, the bulk of which is either incinerated or ends up in landfills.
To avert this high environmental cost, governments in the EU have agreed that the destruction ban should be made effective immediately instead of waiting for the European Commission to complete an assessment that could last for as long as three years, Reuters reported.
The new law would still give mid-sized companies with less than 250 employees a four-year transition period. Meanwhile, small businesses with less than 50 employees would be exempt from the ban.
In addition, the law would require brands to create digital product passports, which would showcase a product’s environmental impact, with the goal of helping buyers make informed decisions.
That said, while the EU bloc is in favor of imposing the ban, the rule is expected to undergo negotiations with EU Parliament representatives under Spain’s six-month-long EU presidency, which is set to begin in the month of July.