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Council’s ‘Don’t Stitch Up the Planet’ Textile Recycling Call

Textile recycling at a local supermarket
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s engineering assistant Daniel McCaffrey at supermarket textile recycling bank.
Published Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Don’t stitch up the planet by throwing your unwanted threads in the bin – that’s the message from Ribble Valley Borough Council.

Around 336,000 tonnes of clothing gets dumped in the UK each year, along with bundles of bedding, blankets and curtains.

Now residents are being asked to recycle, reuse or give their unwanted garments to charity.

Currently, over five per cent of the UK’s total annual carbon and water usage results from clothing consumption.

And fast fashion may be pushing down prices, but it is sending textile waste through the roof.

The average UK household throws away nearly £1,000 of clothes a year and four out of 10 people surveyed by YouGov said they bin unwanted garments, rather than repair or recycle them.

The throwaway culture is creating a serious environmental problem, with mountains of waste textiles rotting in landfill or having to be burned.

But keeping clothes in active use for just nine months longer would reduce their carbon, water and waste footprints by 20 to 30 per cent.

Ribble Valley Borough Council engineering assistant Daniel McCaffrey said: “There is no need for clothing to make its way into a bin and textile waste is becoming a significant environmental problem.

“There are many ways to keep clothing out of landfill – the easiest is simply by wearing them for longer.

“Clothes and textiles that are in good condition can be donated and sold for re-use, while items that aren’t suitable to be passed on can be recycled and made into new items, such as padding for chairs and car seats, cleaning cloths and industrial blankets.

“Over 95 per cent of textiles in landfill are reusable and we are asking residents to think carefully before throwing clothes in the bin.”

Textile recycling banks can be found at supermarket car parks throughout Ribble Valley, the Clitheroe Household Waste Recycling Centre in Henthorn Road (Friday to Tuesday, 9am to 5pm) and the Longridge Household Waste Recycling Centre at Chapel Hill (Wednesday to Sunday, 9am to 5pm).

Don’t Stitch Up the Planet

  • Think ‘do I need it’ before buying clothing
  • Learn how to repair, fix or upcycle clothing
  • Donate unwanted clothing to charity shops
  • Drop off your unwanted clothing at textile banks
  • Many supermarkets now have clothing donation banks in-store
  • Sell your unwanted clothing online

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