Call for levy on unrecyclable fashion

Environmental group Hubbub has called for compulsory investment in textile recycling by fashion shops in its manifesto for a post-pandemic recovery.

Its proposals have drawn support from major industry figures.

Hubbub said in A Greenprint for a Better Britain that the pandemic had created an opportunity to develop sustainable jobs, protect the environment and improve resilience to future shocks. Its recommendations include:

  • All major retailers to independently measure and report annual food waste levels
  • A car scrappage scheme with incentives and charging hubs for electric vehicles
  • A minimum threshold for fashion retailers to invest in research and development for textile recycling by a levy on every item of unrecyclable clothing sold
  • National standards and guidance for local authorities to provide well-marked litter and recycling facilities in green locations
  • Mandatory environmental requirements for new housing developments

Adam Read, external affairs director for Suez Recycling and Recovery UK, said the proposals including the single-use clothes levy were “changes which will make a considerable difference in moving towards a sustainable future for the UK, and are activities that we are already progressing with our supply chains”.

Environmental Services Association executive director Jacob Hayler said: “The global pandemic has radically and rapidly changed the way many of us live our daily lives, but we also have the opportunity to make 2020 a positive turning point towards a greener Britain.

“That is why [we support] the policy asks set out in Hubbub’s Greenprint for a Better Britain which, if adopted, will foster a greater sense of community and help us all to live, travel, eat and dress more sustainably.”

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