As part of Recycle Week, SATCoL announced figures from its first environment impact report

As part of Recycle Week, we are delighted to announce figures from our first environment impact report which shows that, each week, we reuse and recycle over 5 million items.

The clothing and textiles sector is a significant contributor to environmental pollution and climate change and a key focus for SATCoL is the reuse and recycling of textiles. For every tonne of clothing that is reused or recycled, around 5 tonnes CO2eq of greenhouse gases are prevented from being released into the atmosphere - this volume of gas is equivalent to that taken up by 5 family-sized houses!

SATCoL collects around 50,000 tonnes of textiles each year and encourages members of the public to reuse and recycle via its network of charity shops, donation centres and clothing banks. Out of all the textiles and other items SATCoL collects, only 2% is unsaleable with less than 0.25% disposed in landfill. Together with the British public and partner organisations, and from the clothing collected, reused and recycled, SATCoL helped prevent around 235,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere last year, which is also the equivalent to the vehicle exhaust emissions from driving approximately 850 million car miles.

Recycle Week is promoted by Recycle Now and is a sister initiative to Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) of which SATCoL was a founding signatory and has been an active partner with over the past decade. As part of the 17th Recycle Week, a newly published report shows that:

  • through lockdown the UK has become even more environmentally aware, with nearly 9 in 10 households saying they ‘regularly recycle’. 
  • coming out of lockdown, more people are prepared to change their lifestyles to help the environment: 73 per cent, up from 68 per cent in 2019.
  • 93 per cent of UK households say they believe that ‘everyone has a responsibility to help towards cleaning up the environment’.

Bernie Thomas, our Circular Economy and Sustainability Manager, said:
“SATCoL is inherently committed to improving the sustainability of textiles, through our reuse and recycling work and new innovations. The findings from our environmental impact report and Recycle Now’s research shows that people are committed to making changes in recycling behaviours that will have a significant and positive impact on the environment.

“We look forward to continuing to work with members of the public and our partners to develop ever-improving sustainable solutions for clothing and other items, which will reduce our collective carbon footprint.”