As businesses grow, they are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on the environment. Many companies are measuring their impact beyond the traditional metrics of water, waste, and energy. The effects of their activities on the environment are more comprehensive, and it is vital to account for them in a meaningful way.
One of the often-overlooked areas is textile and uniform waste, which is a significant problem for landfill. Textile waste growing at an alarming rate. According to a 2021 study by the Australian Government, end-of-life uniforms account for an estimated 11,000 tonnes of waste every year.1
The impact of textile waste on the environment is significant. Landfills are filling up faster than ever before, and textile waste takes up a considerable amount of space. Textile waste also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions as it decomposes, releasing methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
It is critical for businesses to think beyond water, waste, and energy when measuring their impact on the environment. Textile and uniform waste is a significant issue that needs to be addressed. Sustainability should not be a buzzword, it should be a way of life for businesses. By taking steps to reduce environmental impact, companies can improve their bottom line, attract customers, and contribute to a healthier planet.
Textile Recyclers Australia are leading the way in providing options for businesses who are looking for viable recycling programs for their end-of-life uniforms and product waste. Brands like Bonds, Country Road and Sheridan have joined the movement and are tackling textile waste as a part of their commitment to sustainability.
While health businesses are moving towards similar commitments, many are unsure how to implement a workplace recycling program. Operation Green Scrubs is a scrub recycling program that was created specifically to educate the healthcare industry about the need to collect and responsibly recycle scrubs.
In partnership with Textile Recyclers Australia, Operation Green Scrubs is providing the health sector the opportunity to have reportable textile waste data that can be reported on in their ESG reports. The initiative by Hand 2 Heart Healthwear, is a commitment to bringing the circular economy to healthcare and a way to make a positive contribution to the planet.
In conclusion, textile and uniform waste is a growing concern for the environment and businesses alike. It is essential for companies to take steps to reduce their impact on the environment by minimizing textile waste. This not only benefits the planet but also saves money for the company in the long run. By thinking beyond water, waste, and energy, businesses can make a significant impact on the environment and improve their operations.
- ‘Recycling uniforms and workwear’ awe.gov.au (2021)