Can you recycle your used clothes properly?

5 instructions for recycling used clothing.

Only we Finns decommission in year n 70 million pounds textiles, so it doesn’t matter how we do it.

Mightily In the MOT program In February, the second part of the program Irresponsible Clothing Rally was seen, in which the flow of clothes donated to various collection destinations in Finland was monitored with the help of locators. Clothes with locators traveled abroad on routes whose responsibility and ecology may be very questionable.

However, the program only addressed the consequence of the problem, but not its cause, a huge waste of waste for which there is not yet * an effective national or European recycling system. Therefore, the "clothing rally" in Finland is largely run by charities, whose core task, however, is not to recycle non-marketable clothing.

Indeed, the best way to prevent clothing from ending up in obscure disposal chains around the world is to take care of the proper recycling of its own disposal textiles.

1. Useful for charity

Charities, especially UFF with its collection boxes, which are familiar to everyone, have become recycling places so familiar to us that we already expect them to play a role in the recycling of our clothes that goes beyond the mission statement.

However, the work of the organizations does not include the washing or repairing of donated clothing, but must be fit for sale as such -clean and intact.

While it’s tempting to think that this is going to be a pretty good shirt again when someone just sews the missing button, you have to remember that only the best clothes get a new chance at charity stores. Clothing is goods sold to organizations whose sales proceeds are used to fund charity work. The handling and recycling of broken or dirty clothing, on the other hand, only incurs costs for charities.

It is therefore a greater responsibility to maintain a discarded garment in good condition.

Note! Don’t let your donation go to waste along the way! If you donate clothes in an outdoor collection container, make sure you pack them waterproof.

So charity is as such for marketable clothes — where else are they put?

2. Broken textile collection

Although the garment has a hole, a broken zipper, or a plucked fabric, the raw material of the garment itself may still be useful. Clothes recycled through textile / rag collection are shredded, so there is no harm in breaking. Instead, odors, mold, or dirt absorbed into the material travels through the silkworm and prevents further use.

For broken clothes / rags, textile collection is organized, for example, by local waste companies, such as Sort stations In southern Finland and Kamu collections In southwestern Finland. In the area of ​​south-western Finland, local fiber recycling is just starting, when a waste textile company will start operating in Paimio. recycling plant. So we are living in significant times in the development of the circular economy, Finland in the vanguard.

So what should be done to dirty, wet or smelly?

3. Dirty mixed waste

In Finland, clothes sorted into mixed waste are mainly incinerated. Although it feels miserable, this way the waste will be disposed of here locally instead of ending up in many bends, for example in a landfill in Africa.

4. Underwear for personal use only

Socks, tights, panties and bras are mixed waste. Of course, you can donate the almost unused socks from Priima's hut purchase or baby, but the mainly used underwear should be put in mixed waste.

5. Vintage is an exception

An exception to the rule is vintage clothing, which is in demand even with small defects. So you can donate all-purpose clothes over 20 years old to charities, for example.

The idea of ​​recycling is an eco-act

Thus, the idea that as long as you recycle does not apply to recycling. When the garment to be removed gets the best extension in relation to its condition, the ecological and ethical impact is the best possible.

By considering the above points, you have already done a lot. However, if you want more tips, I recommend checking out the more detailed Outi Pyy blog sorting chartone; and Helsinginseudun ympäristöpalvelut HSY:n lajitteluohjeisiin.


* In Finland, a recycling plant operating in the pilot line in Paimio, which processes waste textiles into recycled fibers, will start operations in June 2021. In the EU, separate collection of textiles will become mandatory in 2025. So the world is changing!

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