Recycling is rightly a hot topic, with a lot of attention on the disposal of single use plastics. Yet households across the UK are throwing out vast quantities of old and unwanted clothes every year, approximately 85% of which ends up in landfill. This equates to £150 million worth of clothing going to rubbish removal. The scale of this issue was put in to visual context when the chef and eco campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was filmed on a seven tonne pile of clothing of 10,000 garments. Shot as part of his war on waste series in 2015 he declared it takes the UK just 10 minutes to throw this amount of clothing away.
The Environmental Consequences
A shift to clothes recycling could have huge benefits for the environment. Each ton of clothing disposed of in landfill increases carbon dioxide emissions by 3.6 tonnes. This addition of greenhouse gases contributes toward global warming and is a major reason why as a nation we need to change our perceptions around recycling clothes. There are numerous charities who collect used clothing from homes and you can often find clothes recycling bins at places such as supermarkets or car parks. When you are having a clear out or are moving home, consider a rubbish removal company like Clearabee who divert 90% of what they collect away from landfill.
The Cost of Clothing
Figures suggest one in three items in the average UK household wardrobe is not used. Whether an item is old, out of style, not liked any more or in need of repair, the easy option can be just to throw it away and buy a new alternative. However if we consider the environmental cost of clothing production it may make us all a little more reluctant to adopt such a throw away attitude. One t-shirt alone requires 800 litres of water to produce, more water than most drink in a year. The carbon emissions to make what the average household currently requires for clothing each year equates to driving around 6,000 miles. Let’s not forget that clothing dumped in landfill takes decades to break down, releasing chemicals in to the environment as they do so.
Re-using Your Clothing
There are plenty of practical ways to avoid treating clothing disposal like everyday rubbish removal besides recycling. Buy clothes you know you will keep wearing, not just for a single occasion and look to buy where possible from second hand stores. Adhere to the washing instructions to better maintain your clothes and learn some basic repair skills to avoid ditching them at the slightest fault. You can also get creative and have some fun with your old clothes by turning them in to other garments or household items like cushion covers and bags. The textile and clothing industry is also switching on to the issue more and helping customers to recycle their clothing. Stores like H&M have offered clothes recycling schemes, while Mud Jeans run an innovative lease scheme where you lease a pair of jeans for 12 months before switching to a new pair, the old pair being recycled.
Professional Rubbish Removal Services
Besides the environmental impact of throwing away unwanted clothing, landfills across the UK are rapidly filling up. Clearabee same day rubbish removal services can help you dispose of your unwanted items in a professional and legal manner. They divert over 90% of collections away from landfill, giving you peace of mind that by using their services you are doing your bit for the environment. A simple change of perception in clothing disposal could quickly alter our habits, with recycling at its core.