The report, that Ingun and Kirsi have contributed to, identifies key areas that are not aligned with other EU environmental strategies and that will have detrimental environmental effects if not amended.
Key whitepaper findings:
- Issue #1: The PEF system does not currently take into account microplastics
- Omitting microplastics as an indicator effectively assigns zero impacts to this form of emissions, which risks unintentionally guiding consumers towards plastic products and fibres.
- Therefore, the system does not align with the CEAP, The Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, the Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles or the EU Strategy for Textiles Roadmap
- The white paper proposes an ‘inventory-level’ indicator – this is a simple summation of modelled microplastic emissions across the life cycle
- Issue #2: The PEF system does not currently include plastic waste
- The increase in consumption of synthetic fibres has been accompanied by an increase in the mass of plastic waste originating from the textile supply chain
- The absence of plastic waste in the PEF methodology therefore has the potential to contribute to an inequitable comparison of natural and synthetic fibres
- Therefore, the system does not align with the CEAP or the Packaging Directive
- The white paper recommends the PEF system should include plastic waste as an indicator
- Issue #3: The PEF system does not currently take into account renewability or biodegradability
- The current methodology does not take into consideration the renewability or biodegradability of fibres. This means that synthetic fibres, which are made from non-renewable resources and disposed of in landfill, may be scored as more sustainable than natural or recycled fibres
- Therefore, the system does not align with the CEAP or the Bioeconomy Strategy
- The whitepaper proposes introducing circularity indicators such as the Material Circularity Indicator (MCI) into PEF