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New campaign encouraging clothes and textiles reuse

A new campaign has been launched to help prevent thousands of tonnes of clothes and textiles going to waste.

Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) is targeting these materials as *research shows that around 18,000 tonnes of textiles goes into people’s bins each year in the Liverpool City Region.

The initiative is part of MRWA’s Recycle Right campaign which was launched in 2018 to help tackle issues around recycling – namely unwanted materials being put into recycling bins. A website (www.recycleright.org.uk) was launched, alongside new social media platforms, public roadshows, a leaflet for householders and ongoing messages through local advertising.

The new campaign wants to provide residents with ideas for giving items a new lease of life and to help people be aware of all their options. For instance, can an item be repaired, refashioned or repurposed? If it is no longer needed then donate it to charity, give it to a friend or family member, or sell it online. And if a new item must be bought then buy something which is better quality, easy to care for and made to last.

Figures by WRAP show that in the UK around 300,000 tonnes of unwanted clothing is thrown away each year. Locally, textiles put into kerbside recycling bins can be difficult to recover through the sorting process which is geared towards separating cans, glass jars and bottles, paper, cardboard, and plastic bottles.

Councillor Tony Concepcion, Chairperson of MRWA, said: “It’s a simple message to residents – please keep clothes and textiles out of your bin. Use recycling bring banks, charity shops, charitable door to door collections, reuse them, give them away or even sell them to someone who wants them.”

Carl Beer, Chief Executive of MRWA, said: “There is a problem with high quantities of textiles such as clothes, curtains and bedding being placed in recycling and household waste bins.

“We don’t want textiles in recycling bins with other recyclable items such as bottles and paper because they disrupt the sorting and separating machinery. Furthermore, we don’t want textiles in household waste bins because that is just a waste of material resources which could be used again.”

The new campaign will see posters put up at Liverpool’s main city centre train stations (Lime Street, Central, Moorfields and James Street), adverts in the Metro newspaper, adverts broadcast on Radio City, Greatest Hits Radio and City Talk 105.9, as well as social media messaging.

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Recycling is one of the major environmental concerns at the moment. I’m pleased that we now have a Liverpool City Region campaign that can really help people to change their recycling behaviour.

“Most local residents try to do the right thing, but with the region’s recycling level at 37.79% there is clearly more we can all do, and the Recycle Right campaign will help give people the information they need to help improve that figure.”

For more information about recycling in the Liverpool City Region visit www.recycleright.org.uk

ENDS

Notes for editors:

– *Merseyside and Halton Waste Composition Study 2015/16 – “The potentially reusable materials in the total kerbside waste were predominantly textiles at 3.4% (approx 18,000 tonnes).”

Members of the media for more information please contact:

John Lally
Marketing and Communications Officer
Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority
Direct Dial: 0151 255 2568
John.lally@merseysidewda.gov.uk
General enquiries: 0151 255 1444