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Time to sort out recycling of waste clothes

China Daily | Updated: 2016-01-29 07:56

CLOTHES AND SHOES collected from some residential communities in Shanghai have been poorly recycled according to media reports. Many so-called recycling bins are actually taken care of by garbage collectors, who resell the secondhand clothes to local flea markets or simply send them to dustbins and waste furnaces. Beijing Times on Thursday called for better management and favorable policies to avoid the considerable waste of used clothes:

Shanghai's case may be just the tip of the iceberg. The sorting of waste seems to have failed in most parts of the country, as the categorized rubbish often ends up being mixed again at collection or picked up by garbage collectors for reselling.

Of course, local governments' increasing enthusiasm for waste recycling is praiseworthy, but it has contributed little to protecting the environment. Simply leaving the used clothes for garbage collectors to dispose of as they want is against the original recycling intentions of not only the government but also the residents who give their clothes away.

China generates a considerable amount of clothes that are thrown away each year, and less than 10 percent are properly recycled.

Even though some advanced nations have mature flea markets for clothing, there is a lack of favorable policies here for enterprises that specialize in recycling used textiles, meaning that they are less motivated to recycle clothes.

It is foreseeable that as people are increasingly able and willing to afford new products, a lot more used clothes will be discarded by their owners. Recycling them in a cost effective way requires relevant departments to improve their management, for example, by issuing targeted regulations on the disposal of old textiles.

They could also offer preferential financial and tax policies, in a bid to encourage recycling enterprises to enhance their willingness to recycle old clothes.

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