The environmental impact of recycling

Every day, mountains of unwanted clothes make their way to municipal landfill sites. Why is there so much waste? Clothes can have many lives before being discarded.  

However, one in three people does not donate their used belongings because it’s easier to throw them away than to find a place where they can donate them.

Did you know that:

  • North Americans send over 10.5 million tons of still-usable items to the dump every year.
  • According to Recyc-Québec, Quebecers throw away 24 kilograms of clothing every year.
  • Only about 15% of used clothing is recycled or donated, making textiles the reusable material with the lowest recycling rate.
  • Nearly 95% of textile waste in our dumps could have been recycled.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that current clothing and textile recycling patterns have a greater impact on reducing greenhouse gases than the recycling of yard waste, glass and plastic.
  • More than 2,600 litres of water are needed to produce a single new cotton T-shirt and more than 6,800 litres of water are needed to manufacture a single new pair of jeans –not to mention all the pesticides needed to control production (10% of the world’s pesticides are used to produce cotton).
  • The fashion industry is the 2nd most polluting in the world, after the fossil fuel industry.

Together, we can improve our behaviours. Develop more sensible shopping habits, reuse clothes instead of throwing them out and, most importantly, spread the word about Le Support’s clothing donation boxes!