Recycling trendsetters!

With 300,000 tonnes of clothing in the UK going to landfill or incineration, the government’s Resources and Waste Strategy outlines plans to explore Extended Producer Responsibility Schemes for textile materials and other ‘harder to recycle’ materials.  

This would ensure that those who place packaging onto the market take more responsibility for any waste costs that packaging imposes; according to the ‘polluter pays’ principle. Producers could pay the full net cost of dealing with their packaging waste to incentivise recyclability in its design. At the moment, producers only pay about 10% of these costs.

Taking this a step further, the government has announced a fund to help drive up the recycling of waste from plastic packaging and textiles. Packaging reform is the government’s “immediate priority” and it intends to legislate on this and have reforms operational by 2023.

As part of its review and consultation on extended producer responsibility for textiles, due for completion by 2025, the government will continue to work closely with WRAP and other organisations on future policy development.

WRAP’s 2017 report ‘Valuing our clothing: the cost of UK fashion’ indicates that clothing comes fourth after housing, transport and food in terms of its impact on the environment. The study indicates that it causes 26 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from production to disposal.

WRAP launched a sustainable clothing action plan (SCAP) in 2013, a voluntary agreement, with targets to reduce carbon, water and waste across the life cycle of products. In addition, its Textiles Collection Guide, published in 2016 aims to help local authorities and textiles collectors such as charities increase textiles re-use and recycling.

The report gives detailed guidance on how local authorities can

  • Communicate textile re-use and recycling services to the public
  • Create new arrangements, review existing approaches, and further development and promotion of existing services
  • Build partnerships with organisations such as charities and community groups
  • How to select the right mix of services
  • How to commission services and, how to work with partners and stakeholders

Cromwell Polythene will be showcasing sustainable ways to separate materials, including textiles, for recycling at our street scene themed stand O14 at RWM 2019, from 11-12 September at Birmingham NEC. On our stand’s kerbside, we’ll reveal exclusive new additions to its broad portfolio of products for the capture and containment of resources and waste, ensuring the right product is available for the right recycling application.

Our kerbside display includes textile recycling bags and clear refuse sacks made from recycled material as well as new additions to our popular LowCO2t ™ range, now incorporating green, red, blue, and yellow sacks, which are a great visual reminder to help in the separation of different materials for recycling.