Textile Waste in Singapore
Textile waste is fabric material that is deemed unusable for its original purpose by the owner (Redress, 2014). It refers to textiles that consumers keep but no longer uses. This includes donated and discarded clothing. (Vadicherla, Saravanan, Ram, & Suganya, 2016).
Statistics show that textile waste output has increased more than 61.52% in terms of mass, from 93,300 tonnes in 2008 to 150,700 tonnes in 2016 (NEA, last updated 2016) but Singapore’s textile waste recycling rate remains stagnant at a low rate of 10% since 2003. Only 7% out of the total textile waste was recycled in 2016; the remaining 93% is incinerated into residual ash and disposed in Semakau landfill, Singapore’s only landfill.
According to NEA, the Semakau landfill will not be able to accommodate textile waste in the near future, as the landfill is projected to run out of space in 2035.
Research has proven that decomposition of dyes and chemicals in textiles in landfills can contaminate both surface and groundwater, and produces harmful chemicals such as Methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes significantly to global warming (Wallander, 2012; Tripa, 2013).
However, lacking sufficient and accessible information on effects and disposal treatment of textile waste, the general public is ignorant of significant health and environmental harm caused by textile waste (Chua, 2015). Hopefully, you will gain a deeper understanding of the issue in this blog. Share the knowledge, share the love!
There are many ways to tackle the issue of solid waste generation but the simplest means is for people to change their mindset and buy fewer clothes.
… once you buy it and find you don’t want to wear it anymore, you’re probably going to end up throwing it into the bin.