Total textile waste in the European Union (EU) 2016, by country

According to data on waste generation in European Union (EU) countries, Italy ranked as the leading textile polluter in 2016, with nearly 466 thousand tonnes of textile waste generated in that year. Following Italy, Germany, France, and the UK were the biggest textile waste producers in the EU, each with over 200 thousand tonnes textiles disposed.

Average textile waste Europeans create

Italy’s textile waste numbers were soaring in 2016, but when scaled to population size, Belgium had the highest amount of textile waste produced per person. On average, the quantity of textile waste European citizens generated varied between just over two kilograms to nearly 15 kilograms.

Discarded clothes in the UK

Textile waste is considered non-hazardous, yet waste created by textile and fashion industry poses serious environmental concerns. Discarded textiles and clothing can be processed to be reused and recycled. In most other cases, textile waste is sent to landfill. A 2019 study on the textile market report that in the United Kingdom (UK), clothing and apparel items ended up in household residual waste in considerably large quantities, most of which were kerbside collections.

Leading yearly textile waste producers in the European Union (EU) in 2016, by country

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period


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