Textile Recycling Association welcomes Waste Policy Review

The Textile Recycling Association (TRA) welcomes the publication by DEFRA of the Review of Waste Policy in England. The document contains a number of positive proposals which recognise the important role that textile and clothing collections can have in delivering a low carbon and “zero waste” economy.

DEFRA’s continued support of the Sustainable Clothing Roadmap, which is now being delivered by WRAP is most welcome as it will be fundamental in delivering the key goal of diverting more textile waste away from disposal into re-use and recycling, and supporting employment throughout the textile recycling industry.

The Government’s announcement that it intends to review the case for restricting the landfilling of textiles waste during this Parliament is also significant. Whilst there could be some very important positive outcomes from such a move, it is vital that this review is considered carefully with the engagement of the wider textile reclamation industry.

“When the idea to consider restricting biodegradable textiles was first suggested by the Labour Government early last year, a consultation of our members revealed strong support for such a proposal”

said Alan Wheeler, the National Liaison Manager for the Textile Recycling Association.

“However, our members highlighted that it would be impractical to make a differentiation between bio-degradable and non-biodegradable textiles. This was communicated to the Labour Government at the time and subsequently to the Coalition Government during the Waste Policy Review. It seems as though they have taken this information on board”.

The TRA also welcome the announcement that the Government intends to remove barriers prevent members of the community and charities from engaging in clothing collections. This positive move seems to be at odds with an increasing but small minority of local authority licensing departments who have started to refuse issuing licenses for some charitable clothing collections on legally unjustifiable and morally indefensible grounds.