26 bn pounds textiles dumped every year: Report

April 25, 2017 - United States Of America

Over 26 billion pounds of clothing and textiles is dumped every year in landfills, and as per a recent report, 95 per cent of it can be reused or recycled. About 54 per cent of people surveyed said they still throw out used clothing instead of donating it, while 62 per cent threw out used items as they did not think that a donation centre would accept them.

"A reused product, whether an article of clothing or a household good, does not require additional resources to remain in circulation. Keeping reused products in the marketplace or fashion cycle might take no more than a fresh eye or a quick trip to a donation location," says the Stat of Reuse Report 2017 by Savers.

Savers/Value Village commissioned Edelman Intelligence to conduct a survey of 2,006 people age 18 or older from the general population in the US and Canada to learn more about how consumers perceive and deal with 'stuff' and its overall role in their community and the environment. The survey was conducted online from January 30-February 7, 2017.

The survey found that people do care about helping their local communities. About 71 per cent respondents say a key benefit to donating unwanted items is knowing that others could be positively impacted. Over 76 per cent people consider donating clothing and home goods a form of charitable giving.

The report also highlights the disadvantages of not recycling used clothing and textiles. It says that about 700 gallons of water is required to make one new cotton t-shirt and 1800 gallons of water is used to make a new pair of jeans. Close to 111 kWh energy is required to make one new pair of jeans.

About 75 per cent of the respondents agreed that, "If I better understood how my actions hurt or helped the planet, I would be more likely to make environmentally conscious decisions." (KD)