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Why recycle?

When remembering the 3-Rs (Reuse, Recycle, Reduce), we often forget to reuse. Clothing can be reused, i.e. someone less fortunate can wear your unwanted clothes.

The reuse of clothing has many environmental benefits. Perhaps the most important benefit is the fact that these items are saved from going to landfill. Many of the materials we throw in landfill can be used again.

Landfill is the dumping of our waste into a hole in the ground, where it is buried. There are thousands of landfill sites currently in operation throughout the UK.

Textiles present particular problems in landfill as synthetic (man-made fibres) products will not decompose, while woollen garments do decompose but produce methane, which contributes to global warming.

It is estimated that more than 1 million tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year, with most of this coming from household sources. Textiles make up about 3% by weight of a household bin. At least 50% of the textiles we throw away are recyclable; however, the proportion of textile wastes reused or recycled annually in the UK is only around 25%. (Source: www.wasteonline.org.uk)

Recovery and recycling provide both environmental and economic benefits. Textile recovery:

Source: www.wasteonline.org.uk