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Circular solutions for textile value chains based on extended producer responsibility
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 3: Circular Economy and Bioeconomy Sectors
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
A successful proposal will contribute to the following Destination impacts: i) enhance European industrial sustainability, competitiveness and resource independence, and ii) improve on consumer and citizen benefits.
Textiles are the fourth highest-pressure category for the use of primary raw materials and water and fifth for greenhouse gas emissions and a major source of microplastic pollution in production and use phases. They are also a key material and product stream in the circular economy action plan. Improvements in the circularity of the textile value chains will help reduce GHG emissions and environmental pressure. EPR schemes are a lever for circularity. The purpose of this topic is to enable the optimal functioning of EPR schemes for textiles within the EU and to take into account the commitments of the textile strategy on EPR. The circular economy action plan establishes the policy objective to make the textiles sector more sustainable by boosting the circularity of textile consumption i.a. through reuse, separate collection, sorting and recycling of textiles. It also wants to limit textile waste generation and restrict exports of waste that have harmful environmental and health impacts in third countries or that can be treated within the EU. Furthermore, increased amounts of separately collected textile waste are expected because of the Waste Framework Directive’s obligation to separately collect textiles as of 2025.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes have proven to be an effective tool for improving the treatment of other waste streams and therefore are being considered as necessary in recent consultations by the stakeholders of the textile sector. In view of that, the Commission is assessing the feasibility of introducing EPR for textiles into EU legislation. Proposals should aim to support the high-quality separate collection, preparation for treatment and treatment of used textiles and textile waste, thereby enabling the optimal functioning of EPR schemes in this sector. It will do so by providing recommendations on improving the ease of identification of material composition in a wide range of used textile products/waste to inform the different actors in the use and end-of-life stages of textiles (consumers for use and disposal, social enterprises to enable reuse, waste management operators to enable preliminary treatment and treatment operations). To do so, it will inter alia identify, develop and test innovative labelling of textile products (including through the use of technologies such as AI, blockchain or Internet of Things) to ease separate collection for re-use or end-of-life treatment that leads to high quality secondary raw materials.
Proposals should bring together different stakeholders active in the sector along the value chain, such as waste collectors, waste sorters, repair and reuse organisations. Proposals should also try to address historical liabilities and the impact of textiles coming from outside the EU. Proposals should analyse how EPR schemes can improve the circularity of textiles, assess the material composition in a wide range of used textile products and waste with a view to targeted EPR schemes for improved collection and recycling, and test separate collection options for reuse or end-of-life treatment that could be enforced through EPR schemes. Projects should also identify novel solutions for textile reuse. They should also consider possible rebound effects and only propose measures that will not hamper the market uptake of more sustainable novel textile materials. Projects should also recommend/identify/define tools (policy, legislation, governance, market-based, etc.) that the EU institutions (Commission, Parliament, Council of the EU) could implement or propose in order to reduce the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the textile sector (including from final consumption, not only production) in the EU in line with the EU greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets till 2050 (climate neutrality), including the 2030 target; for this, the projects should take into account the relevant possible rebound effect.
Proposal results are expected to contribute to all the following outcomes:
- Recommendations on best innovative solutions for the identification of material composition of used textiles/textile waste embedded in the design of textile products;
- Recommendations on design for recycling for textile products that allows the use of targeted Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes;
- Recommendations on policy tools to reach EU greenhouse gas reduction targets till 2050 (climate neutrality), including the 2030 target.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
Activities should reach TRL 6-8 by the end of the project.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.