Regulators in the US and Europe are waking up to the mounting clothing waste problem that’s clogging local landfills and overwhelming countries such as Ghana and Chile. Increasingly, they’re asking brands to pay for it. 

Under rules that have been separately proposed in California, New York, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Italy — and are also under discussion in the UK and EU — fashion companies would have to fund textile recycling programs, in most cases by paying for the volume of clothing they produce. These “extended producer responsibility” (EPR) schemes, modeled after programs for other hard-to-recycle goods such as batteries, mattresses and medical sharps, require brands to pay fees based on their product output, or to set up their own recycling programs. 


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