What do we see?
In 2019, 55kt of sorted textiles were collected in Flanders. This is an increase compared to 2010 when 49kt of textiles were collected. The textiles were collected by De Kringwinkel (16kt) and private companies (39kt). Around half of the textiles collected in 2019 were then reused, 3.49kt of which via De Kringwinkel and 21kt via private companies. However, it is only the textiles sold by De Kringwinkel that we can be sure have been reused. Of the textiles that could not be sold via De Kringwinkel, 20% was passed onto private buyers who then reused, recycled or incinerated it. The rest of the textiles, around 49kt, were discarded with the residual waste for incineration.
What’s the aim?
The European Commission’s Waste Framework Directive has defined a hierarchy to be used as a guideline for waste processing. In this hierarchy, reuse and waste prevention are at the top, and recycling is considered the next best option. In a circular economy, we need to use, reuse and recycle materials as much as possible to avoid serviceable materials being destroyed and in order to preserve the value of materials as long as possible. Only when materials can no longer be recycled can they be incinerated with energy recovery. Landfilling waste is the absolute last resort.
The sorted collection of waste and materials is a crucial step on the road to more reuse and recycling. However, not all textiles that are collected are suitable for reuse. A lot depends on the quality and the demand from the market. Lower-quality products are first checked to see if they can be recycled. If that is not possible, then they are incinerated.
What does this indicator measure?
This indicator measures the amount of EoL (end-of-life) textiles collected each year in Flanders and how this waste stream is processed.