Sustainability Framework

The Hidden Risks: ESPR Regulation and Its Impact on Biodegradable and Renewable Materials

Saal A
Donnerstag, 12.09.2024, 11:50 - 12:15 Uhr

Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) is the most influential regulatory mechanism to guide the complex textiles sector towards a more sustainable and circular future. However, the devil is in the details and some aspects of the ESPR (e.g. durability interpretation) could inadvertently undermine the use of biodegradable, renewable materials with low environmental impact. At the current stage, it will be crucial for the industry producing or using such materials to share their technical knowledge and facts with the European Commission and to participate in public consultations.

Danijela Cafuta (Lenzing Aktiengesellschaft)
Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) is the legal act that most strongly determines the choice of raw materials and the design of textiles placed on the European market. Horizontal measures such as durability, recyclability and recycled content have been defined for all priority product groups, and it is not surprising that textiles are one of them. While everyone agrees with the EU's vision for transition of the textile sector, the details (e.g. how to interpret durability) are intensively discussed and defined in working groups that are accused of a lack of diversity. In the presentation, we will take an in-depth look at the horizontal measures and discuss controversial examples that could impact the use of low-impact renewable materials. We will also emphasize the importance of producers and users of these materials contributing to the European Commission's public consultations and providing technical data and facts. Otherwise, the laws could be written on the basis of available and even incomplete technical data that does not reflect the full reality.