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Table 4 Key recommendations to improve the sustainability of polyester garments during the end-of-life phase of the value chain. GHG = greenhouse gas

From: Analysis of the polyester clothing value chain to identify key intervention points for sustainability

Issue Goal Measure Action
Resources Phase out fossil fuels as source of energy Strict taxes on GHG emissions
Discontinue buying/selling quotas on GHG emissions
Discontinue subsidies for use of fossil fuels
Incentivize use of renewable energy
Pre-disposal Reduce volume of discarded clothes Promote reuse and mending
Disposal Improve collection of textiles Provide information to the public on the correct processes for textile disposal and recycling
Facilitate disposal by increasing the number of collection containers
Increase the number of retail stores with take-back schemes
Improve sorting facilities Invest in new sorting technologies
Recycling Reduce material rejection Improve transparency concerning the additives used during manufacturing
Improve monomer recycling technologies Can chemical recycling be carried out at lower temperatures?
Can enzymatic recycling overcome high crystallinity in fibers in a sustainable way?
Incineration Modernization of incineration plants Improve air pollution control systems
Implant energy recovery (both as heat and electricity) in every installation
Biodegradation/biotransformation Reduce volume of PET textile waste Research feasibility and optimize different routes
  1. Legislation Economic incentive or funding Education or communication