Benefits of Recycling
It is estimated that we throw away as much as one million tonnes of textiles every year. When old clothes and textiles are thrown away, they are most likely to end up in a landfill site. Most of this comes from household sources, but it also comes from fabric and garment factories.
Most of the waste produced in the UK ends up in landfill sites. Landfill sites are large areas where land is replaced by rubbish or waste. Landfill sites pose a threat to local ground water supplies. Every time it rains, water drains through all the rubbish, and picks up chemicals and hazardous materials from whatever is in the landfill site. This includes chemicals used in clothing and textiles such as dyes and bleaches.
The water collects at the bottom of the landfill, often in large amounts and can be up to 200 times as toxic as raw sewage.
The second problem with landfillling is the generation of gases as a by-product of decomposition such as methane. Methane can be explosive if it is allowed to build up.
- Recycling reduces the need for landfill space. Textiles present particular problems in landfill as synthetic (man-made fibres) products will not decompose, while woollen garments do decompose and produce methane, which contributes to global warming.
- Recycling results in less pollution and energy savings, as fibres do not have to be transported from abroad.
- By re-using existing fibres and textiles, there is no need to make these textiles from raw materials (such as cotton, wool, and synthetic fibres) This saves on the energy used and pollution caused during manufacturing processes like dying, washing, and scouring.
15 May 2013 | Back to News and Consumer Guides »