Brussels, 6th July 2023
The Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to revise the current Waste Framework Directive (WFD). FESI recognises the Directive as a significant step towards achieving a circular economy within the sporting goods sector but calls for policy coherence with other legislative developments, particularly with EU Textile Strategy and Ecodesign Regulation (ESPR) among others.
“The revised Waste Framework Directive represents a positive step towards more sustainable practices and circularity in the apparel and footwear sectors. By streamlining procedures and ensuring coherence between flourishing and uncoordinated initiatives in Member States, unnecessary complexities can be avoided, enabling businesses to focus on sustainable practices and environmental objectives”, stated Jérôme Pero, Secretary General of FESI. “Our members are putting on the market a wide range of very different products from sports footwear to sport articles and personal protective equipment which are subject to different EPR schemes, hence we are welcoming harmonisation efforts of the Commission”, he added.
As an industry body, FESI advocates for policy coherence that aligns with other legislative developments, particularly the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) framework, the ban on the destruction of unsold consumer products, the Waste Shipment Regulation, as well as the Circular Economy Action Plan and EU Strategy for Sustainable Textiles. Harmonisation is vital to ensure consistency and scalability within the waste management framework. This should be further strengthened in the new revised Directive, especially concerning the scope, the waste hierarchy, and the definitions of textile waste. Additionally, harmonization of KPIs, compliance, eco-modulation fees and enforcement mechanisms is essential to facilitate efficient and effective waste management practices throughout the European Union.
A faithful advocate for responsible practices, FESI welcomes the principles of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) within the textile industry laid out by the European Commission in the current proposal. EPR, if functioning properly, ensures that manufacturers, importers, and retailers assume jointly the responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products, including their end-of-life disposal. By embracing EPR, sporting goods companies actively contribute to waste reduction, promote recycling and reuse, and foster innovation in eco-design and sustainable materials. This, however, can only be achieved if EPR schemes across the EU are coordinated, cover the same type of products and share the same objectives and processes. Only with streamlined proposals can circular processes achieve scale in Europe.
In conclusion, FESI acknowledges the importance of collaboration between policymakers, industry stakeholders and consumers, and remains dedicated to actively engaging with co-legislators to achieve desired objectives of the proposal.
About FESI: The Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry (FESI) is the pre-competitive platform representing the interests of the sporting goods industry in Europe, advancing its members’ priorities and promoting initiatives that benefit the sector, EU citizens and the society as a whole. FESI is the sole stakeholder that provides sporting goods companies with the possibility to leverage their expertise into one steady and coherent voice.
Contact: Ariane Gatti, FESI Communication Manager / [email protected] /+32 (0)2 762 86 48