Clothing is among the items that make up rubbish piles in homes across the UK every year. Most people throw their worn out, old and dirty garments in bins, rather than recycle, reuse or give them away. A 2017 study by Sainsbury found that people would discard 680 million garments during spring cleaning with 235 million ending up in landfills. These numbers arise from the fact that some consumers don’t know what to do with clothing once they are done using it. For this reason, clothes have become some of the biggest generators of waste in the UK. Some professional waste removal companies like Clearabee divert almost 90% of collected rubbish away from landfills. But still, it helps if you can find ways to reduce the number of clothing pieces that end up in the bin.
The Hazards of Clothing on the Environment
WRAP, the waste advisory agency for the UK government, released a technical report on the impact of clothing across Europe. In 2015, the carbon footprint from the clothes consumed in the EU was 165 tonnes of CO2. The UK is among the countries with the highest numbers of residual clothing waste in Europe. A different study by WRAP showed that the UK had the shortest active life for clothing at 3.3 years. It means that every three years, a household in the UK will discard most of its clothing and a percentage of that goes into the rubbish pile. WRAP estimates that the carbon emissions from clothing are equal to driving a modern car for 6,000 miles. The slow decomposition of clothing is the biggest danger to the environment because it renders land unusable for a long time. Some synthetic fabrics leak toxins into the soil, which can also cause water pollution. Finding ways to give fewer garments to a rubbish removal company goes a long way in decreasing this impact. Here are several tips.
Don’t discard clothes into the rubbish removal pile until you are sure that they cannot serve another purpose. An old T-shirt can work as pyjamas before it becomes too worn out to wear. You can use torn towels to clean various surfaces around the house. Worn out T-shirts are also useful for DIY cleaning mops. A rubbish removal company can advise you on recycling.
When sorting out your old wardrobe, separate the clothes that are not too old. Maybe you have garments that are out of fashion or don’t fit you anymore. You can get extra money by reselling these and reducing your waste.
Extend the Life of Clothes
A big reason many clothes end up in the landfill is due to poor care that shortens their lifespan. Decreasing the number of times that you wash clothes will not only allow them to last longer but also reduce your water and energy footprint during the lifetime of the clothing. Follow recommended instructions on the care of delicate fabrics to prevent premature wear.
Return to Manufacturers or Donate
In efforts to reduce the effect of clothing manufacture on the environment, various companies in the UK have schemes where consumers can donate old, worn out and unwanted garments. Some retailers even offer vouchers to encourage this practice. Manufacturers then find ways to reuse or recycle the clothes, so you are assured that they don’t go to another landfill. Alternatively, find charities that need donations and drop them off.
A rubbish removal service like Clearabee is a good investment when it’s time to get rid of your unwanted clothes. You are sure that most of your clothing waste will not be disposed of in a landfill. With creative tactics, you can decrease the clothes that have to go into the waste bin when clearing your wardrobe, thereby reducing your contribution to landfills.