Textile and clothing recycling is really a potentially beneficial activity from environmental, social and economic points of view, instead of land filling or being used for energy. As cities increasingly are diverting other high volume waste streams such as for example, organics, the recycling of old clothes has been called another frontier for cities looking to lessen solid waste.
The main advantage of textile recycling activities is the ability to reuse clothing. Through the reuse of clothes and textiles, we can avoid pollution and energy-intensive production of new clothing. Additionally, clothing that cannot be reused might be repurposed into such products as rags or recycled into fabric and other material for reprocessing. As Greenpeace cautioned in a 2016 press release, however, the “technological challenges mean full recycling of clothing into new fibers remains far from commercially viable.” Even the recovery and sales of used clothing is a huge controversial topic, specifically for export to developing nations.
Following are some interesting details about textile and garment recycling:
- A lot more than 15 million a great deal of used textile waste is generated annually in the United States and the quantity has doubled throughout the last 20 years. In 2014, over 16 million tons of textile waste was generated, according to the U.S. EPA. Of this amount, 2.62 million tons were recycled, 3.14 million tons were combusted for energy recovery, and 10.46 million tons were delivered to the landfill. An average American throws away approximately 80 pounds of used clothing per person. Normally, nationally, it costs cities $45 per ton to dispose of old clothing.
Synthetic clothing might take hundreds of years to decompose.
- No more than 0.1% of recycled fiber collected by charities and restore programs is recycled into new textile fiber.
- Consumers are regarded as the key culprit for throwing away their used clothing as only 15 percent of consumer used clothing is recycled where a lot more than 75 percent of pre-use clothing is recycled by the manufacturers.
- In accordance with Greenpeace, global Donate Clothes in Clinton Township from 2000 to 2014. The average individual buys 60 percent more components of clothing annually and keeps them for approximately half so long as 15 years ago, generating a huge amount of waste.
- The typical duration of a cloth is approximately 3 years.
- Nearly 100 percent of textiles and clothing are recyclable.
- The annual environmental impact of a household’s clothing is equivalent to the water had a need to fill 1,000 bathtubs and the carbon emissions from driving a typical modern car for 6,000 miles
- If the typical life of clothing was extended by just three months, it would reduce by five to ten percent their carbon and water footprints, along with waste generation. The recycling of two million a great deal of clothing each year equates to taking one million cars from U.S. streets.
- A lot more than 70 percent of the world’s population uses secondhand clothing. About 50 percent of collected shoes and clothing is employed as second-hand products. Meanwhile, 20 percent is employed to make polishing and cleaning cloths for various industrial purposes and 26 percent is recycled for applications such as fiber for insulation products, upholstery, fiberboard, mattresses and donate clothes in Clinton Township.
- The United States textile recycling industry removes approximately 2.5 billion pounds of post-consumer textiles each year from the waste stream and the industry creates significantly more than 17,000 jobs. Among this workforce, 10,000 are semi-skilled employees employed in the principal processing of used textile and the residual 7,000 employees are employed in the last processing stage. There are more than 500 garments recycling companies in the USA and majority of those companies are owned and operated by small and family businesses, each which employs 35 to 50 workers.
- According to the Council for Textile Recycling, nearly one-half of used clothing is given to charities by the general public. Charities distribute and sell these clothing free of charge or at low prices. And 61 percent of reusable and recyclable textiles are exported to other countries.
Every one of these facts indicate that textile recycling industry in the United States has great potential to expand, given that 85 percent of used textiles still visit national landfills. The next steps involve increased initiatives to advertise recycling, as well as harmonization of collection efforts.