Recycling Product News Logo

“Business as usual” still a distant prospect for textiles recyclers according to BIR

BIR logo

"The risks right now are much higher than the opportunities," stated BIR Textiles Division President Martin Böschen of Switzerland-based TEXAID * Textilverwertungs AG in delivering his latest market summary to a divisional webinar. 

While recent months had brought some improvement in demand and payments for sorted goods, prices were still "15-25% lower than before COVID-19," said Böschen.

Demand for recycled goods, meanwhile, had not picked up at all. Many sorting companies in Europe were working "at reduced capacities" while stocks of originals held in warehouses were "one and a half to two times higher than normal at this time of year."

He concluded: "It will take at least 18 to 24 months to return to ‘business as usual' in our industry." 

Lisa Jepsen of US-based Garson & Shaw reported that most companies in the USA and Central America had seen their sales nosedive in the early stages of the pandemic, but these had now returned to approaching normal levels. Stocks had been quick to fall once thrift stores reopened, she added.

According to Peter Saas of Pisatex Gulf in the United Arab Emirates, sales had now recovered to around 80-85% of their usual levels. The African market was back to normal, although prices were showing a slight decline, he also noted.

Reporting on the Bulgarian market, Yavor Pandov from the country's Association of Recyclers and Traders of Second Hand Clothes (ARTSHC) confirmed that volumes had returned to around 90% of pre-COVID levels. Africa and Pakistan had resumed their regular purchasing levels "in terms of quantities, not in terms of price."

Pandov went on to confirm that a tax on imported second-hand clothing was still being discussed within his country's parliament and now seemed likely to be imposed despite on-going opposition from the ARTSHC. Back in 2018, the association had received support from BIR in fighting the proposal, with the world association arguing that a tax would harm domestic consumers and would prevent the Bulgarian government from meeting the recycling targets for textiles set down in the EU's revised Waste Framework Directive. 

In the first of two guest presentations, Emmanuel Katrakis, Secretary General of the European Recycling Industries' Confederation (EuRIC), focused on the Circular Economy Action Plan adopted by the European Commission in March 2020 which enshrines the development of a new EU textiles strategy by 2021 to strengthen competitiveness and innovation in the sector as well as to boost the market for reuse. EuRIC believes the strategy should champion: EPR to support a proper infrastructure and to modulate fees based on textiles' reusability, recyclability and recycled content; adapted customs codes to ease transboundary movements of textiles; and development/funding of "fit-for-purpose" technologies. Katrakis also stressed the importance of targets and incentives covering, for example, reuse and incorporation of recycled fibres in new products.

Fellow guest speaker Hilde van Duijn, Senior Project Manager at Netherlands-based Circle Economy, outlined some of the latest technologies available for textiles as well as the challenges faced, including: the lack of market "pull" for non-wearable textiles; the "negative perception" of recycled content; and the ever-changing composition of post-consumer textiles. It was "very important," she underlined, that representatives of the end-of-life value chain - and not just brands and producers - were at the table when these issues were discussed.

Company info

24 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 1050
Brussels,
BE,

Website:
bir.org

Read more

More from Textiles Recycling

Sponsored Brought to you by: Machinex Logo

Discover the main features of a reliable & efficient baler

Single-Ram and II-Ram High-Capacity Balers

At Machinex, we've been designing sorting systems for over 35 years, so we know how essential it is for MRF operators to have a baler they can trust and not worry about its operational reliability. This is why we design and manufacture reliable single-ram and II-ram high-capacity balers to specifically help optimize their operations.

 Watch the video of our expert who presents the main features of Machinex balers delivering these important benefits:

  • Easy & accessible maintenance
  • Reduced maintenance & bale handling costs
  • Energy savings
  • Optimal bale density
Learn more
Sponsored Brought to you by: Komptech Americas LLC. Logo

How to streamline C&D waste processing to increase profitability

For C&D recyclers, waste haulers, demolition contractors and landfills, there is a growing opportunity to profit from rethinking processes. Although every operation is different, by streamlining the front end of the C&D operation processes with purpose-built technologies, recyclers can tap into new end markets, accommodate higher material volumes, stay ahead of regulatory restrictions, increase recovery rates and add commodity revenue, while decreasing labor and other costs.

Download the new eBook to learn about:

  • Finding opportunities in the alternative to landfilling C&D
  • How facilities can increase their profits from C&D
  • Using the right C&D processing technology in the right locations
Learn more

Get our newsletter