The Bangladesh Textile Millers Association (BTMA) has urged authorities to ban the export of garment waste in a bid to preserve raw materials for native recyclers.
In a letter to the National Board of Revenue, the BTMA pointed to capacity-building efforts underway across Bangladesh as companies look to accommodate greater streams of textile waste.
It calls for the withdrawal of VAT which in some cases makes the import of recycled fiber cheaper than trade on the domestic market.
According to the media reports citing the letter, buyers have to pay 7.5% VAT on locally sourced raw materials, whilst spinners are required to pay 15% VAT for recycled products.
Such mechanisms are believed to be a barrier preventing local trade agreements, as companies can at times secure more affordable deals when sourcing from overseas.
Still, Bangladeshi recycling firms like RBD Fibers – the BTMA said – are investing in scaling their operations, having piled as much as US$50 million into the capacity building thus far.
Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest garment exporter, and work is underway to improve native recycling infrastructure as to accommodate waste locally rather than shipping it to companies in other parts of the world.
Last year, Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) estimated that Bangladesh could save as much as $500 million a year if garment manufacturers redirected the money they spend on importing cotton to native recyclers.
Intrinsic to this is building robust recycling infrastructure within the country, which is the target of the Circular Fashion Partnership – an initiative the GFA launched late last year alongside Reverse Resources and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Elsewhere, burgeoning innovator Recover earlier this year established a site in Bangladesh so it too could benefit from the vast quantities of post-industrial waste that it manufactures into its proprietary fibre.