The Tunisian Textile and Clothing Federation (FTTH) has recently organised a seminar on the recovery and recycling of post-industrial waste in the clothing sector. It was also the occasion to launch the "Med TestIII", an initiative that proposes to promote clean industries in the southern Mediterranean.
Stakeholders of the Tunisian textile sector want to reduce the environmental impact of their activity. A seminar was held in Tunis on November 26, 2019, on the theme “promoting circular value chains for a competitive and sustainable textile industry”. Organised by the Tunisian Textile and Clothing Federation (FTTH), the meeting was designed to introduce textile operators to a green economy approach, where chemical waste from factories is recycled or valorised. Textiles, which is a pillar of the Tunisian economy, contributes more than 20% to the GDP, with 1,600 companies, 160,000 jobs and €2.2 billion in export sales, and exerts a strong pressure on the environment.
Textile production consumes a lot of resources and generates a lot of waste. According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), global cotton production alone consumes 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the herbicides used in the world. In addition, the air pollution it generates exceeds that generated by emissions from shipping and air traffic combined. Emissions of greenhouse gases are estimated at 1.2 billion tons of CO² equivalent in 2015. The eco-responsibility of Tunisian textiles is further reinforced by the “MedTestIII” initiative.
It aims at developing circular textile value chains, recovering textile waste, and was launched during the Tunis seminar. Funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), this programme is also expected to be implemented in two other North African countries: Morocco and Egypt. “More and more international brands are setting up collection and recycling units for used clothing. We must not miss this train which is the key to the durability and sustainability of the national textile and clothing sector,” said Hosni Boufaden, FTTH President. Concretely, Med TestIII will strengthen local infrastructure, technical expertise and know-how to promote the appropriate classification, efficient collection, sorting and recycling of post-industrial and pre-consumer textile waste.