China aims to recycle 25% of textile waste, hike recycled fibre output

China aims to recycle 25 per cent of its textile waste and produce 2 million tonnes of recycled fibre by 2025 as part of its push to peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and become carbon-neutral by 2060, according to a document jointly released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the ministry of industry and information technology and the ministry of commerce.It hopes to greatly increase its recycling capability and have a waste textile recycling system ‘initially established’ by 2025, the document says.

According to the document, titled ‘Implementation Opinions on Accelerating the Recycling of Waste Textiles’, the government hopes to have in place by 2030 a relatively complete system achieving a recycling rate of 30 per cent for waste textiles and producing 3 million tonnes of recycled fibre.

“With the continuous improvement in people’s living standards, more and more used clothing [is being put to waste], and the problem of recycling textile waste has become increasingly prominent,” Zhao Kai, vice chairman of the China Association of Circular Economy, said in a statement on the NDRC website.

In 2020, China produced around 22 million tonnes of textile waste, and had a recycling rate of around 20 per cent, according to the NDRC. Around 1.5 million tonnes of recycled fibre was produced from textile waste that year.

Measures outlined in the document include promoting green and low-carbon production in the textile industry; improving China’s recycling network; and promoting the comprehensive use of textile waste. Awareness among producers and consumers of the importance of recycling was also expected to be significantly raised by 2030, according to the document.

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