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THE PROBLEM

The EU has estimated that the textile industry accounts for 10% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e). This is more than all international aviation and maritime shipping combined (source).

In Norway 19 kg per capita new textiles was placed on the market in 2022 (source). Used textiles are primarily collected on a voluntary basis, and 97% of this is exported out of Norway (source). 90% of used textiles in the EU are exported out of the union, mainly to Asia and Africa (source). Less than 2% of textiles are recycled (source).

Several thousand tons of textiles that need to be disposed of by industries are currently delivered with regular waste for incineration, with no recycling solutions available.

According to new international reports, the export of clothing from the EU has increased significantly in the last decade, while the plastic content in clothing has increased, and the quality has decreased. 30-50% of textiles exported to markets such as Africa, for example, contain plastic and are of insufficient quality for reuse (source). This ends up in uncontrolled landfills and/or is burned, creating significant environmental and health challenges locally.

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