Proposing CLEAN RECYCLING INITIATIVE™ to help increase recycled raw materials from waste textile goods

FACTS

Over 80 billion garments are produced annually, worldwide. According to U.S. EPA, around 16 million tons of textile municipal solid waste (MSW) was generated in 2015, about 6.1% of total MSW generation. … As such, textile recycling is a significant challenge to be addressed as we strive to move closer to a zero landfill society. (For more information, please click the link - https://www.thebalancesmb.com/the-basics-of-recycling-clothing-and-other-textiles-2877780

A whopping 91% of plastic isn't recycled. Mass production of plastics, which began just six decades ago, has accelerated so rapidly that it has created 8.3 billion metric tons—most of it in disposable products that end up as trash (For more information, please click the link - https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/

Textile recycling offers the following environmental benefits:
  • Decreases landfill space requirements, bearing in mind that synthetic fiber products do not decompose and that natural fibers may release greenhouse gasses
  • Avoided use of virgin fibers
  • Reduced consumption of energy and water
  • Pollution avoidance
  • Lessened demand for dyes and many others

CHALLENGES

A large portion of discarded textile goods are shipped to 3rd world countries for reuse or recycling. Currently, most of the components recycled easily are such accessories as buttons, buckles, etc. But, a large portion of fabrics go to landfill sites and create environmental issues. If the SORTING facilities can have better understanding of how to recycle fabrics properly, the rate of textiles derived from discarded textile goods will be increased.

OPPORTUNITIES

There are a large amount of fabrics which can be recycled and unlike other waste plastics, these materials can be recycled without cleaning which cause heavy pollutions. Examples of such fabrics are materials made with same type of raw materials, e.g., 100% polyester, 100% polypropylene, 100% cotton, etc., used as synthetic thermal insulation material, lining fabrics, etc. (please see more details in the INSTRUCTIONS tab)