An office bearer of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said the industry could potentially export an additional $5 to $6 billion worth of garments by locally recycling around 4 lakh tonnes of garment waste. The country currently generates a mere $300 million to $400 million from exporting a portion of garment waste.
Exporters say the government does not get anything when this waste goes to the landfill or into the drains. But there is VAT when they add value and transform a Tk10 waste into a Tk500 product. We have communicated this to the NBR several times, but no action has been taken.
Most garment waste recycling technology companies are European, as high investment is required in this sector, which is a significant challenge. Through a circular financing scheme, domestic investors need low-cost financial support for the garment recycling industry. Moreover, if the government allows entrepreneurs to import post-consumer apparel waste, it will encourage them to invest further in this sector.
Experts highlighted that each kilogram of CYCLO-recycled fibers could save up to 20,000 liters of water, 200 grams of pesticides and fertilizers, 2.7 kg of dyes and chemicals, 3.2 kilowatt-hours of energy, and 11 kilograms of CO2 equivalent.
One factory utilizes pre-consumer apparel waste as raw materials. Still, the current supply is insufficient to meet their daily production needs, as careful selection of raw materials to maintain product quality.
The leading global brands are aggressively shifting towards sustainable production. Since 2013, the innovative Dutch brand G-Star has led the charge sustainably by renewing denim using 20 percent post-consumer denim waste. According to their website, H&M aims for 100 percent of the materials to be either recycled or sourced more sustainably by 2030 and 30 percent recycled materials by 2025. Inditex aims to make 100 percent of its textile products exclusively from materials with a reduced environmental footprint by 2030.