The UK government is targeting the fashion industry, as well as electronics and furniture makers, in a consultation process aimed at reducing waste and encouraging recycling.
As part of a wider Waste Prevention Programme, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) opened consultations on measures, which will be part of the Resources and Waste Strategy.
The consultation will focus on design and recycling standards in sectors that have a significant environmental impact – the most high profile of which is fashion. Among its suggestions are that companies contribute more to the cost of recycling. Although there have been discussions along these lines before which have been thrown out by ministers. These Include an idea that a 1p tax per garment, payable by consumers, could help fund recycling processes.
Defra found that the number of textiles purchased in the UK increased by 20% between 2012 and 2016, with consumption and discarding outpacing improvements in recycling.
“We are firmly committed to ending the ‘throwaway’ culture as we build back greener,” Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said.
“Major retailers and fashion brands have made huge strides in reducing their environmental footprint but there is more we must do.”