China's waste textile recycling trap

If China’s waste textiles are all recycled, the annual supply of chemical fiber and natural fiber is equivalent to saving 24 million tons of crude oil, which is more than half of the output of Daqing Oilfield – data calculated by the China Textile Industry Federation reveals amazing clothing. waste.

One side is a huge waste, and the other is the shortage of resources. "Xinhua Viewpoint" reporter investigation found that clothing donation day is in jail, recycling and "no door", old clothes processing to become an important issue of a conservation-oriented society.

A waste of astonishment: the "baggage" that can't be dropped

"The new three-year period, the old three years, and three years of supplements," and the period of saving food and clothing are no longer required. Almost every family now faces a closet.

Zhao Jing, a public institution in Beijing, said that there is always a shortage of suitable wardrobes, and there is also the urge to constantly add new products. In particular, when it comes to seasonal discounts, you will generally buy several more sets. However, the speed of buying is not catching up with the trend, and the old clothes have become a "burden".

With the improvement of living standards, even if there are no large objects at home, there are many clothes. Some people still have friends and relatives who can send them. Most of them are “giving no presents”. Liu Lingling, who lives in a shanty town in Hohhot Hui District, said that the quality of his home's old clothes is not good, not good for others, selling a 35 cents is not enough toss, simply throw away the bag directly.

According to the average life expectancy of a piece of clothing from 3 to 4 years, if China, on average, purchases 5 to 10 pieces of new clothes per year and discards 3 to 5 pieces of old clothes, at the end of the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan”, China’s waste textiles will accumulate. The amount of production is about 100 million tons, of which 70 million tons are for chemical fibres and 30 million tons for natural fibres. No recycling is used, which causes environmental pollution and is a huge invisible waste.

How to dispose of old clothes, donation is the most commonly used channel. China’s regular social donation work, which mainly involves the donation of used clothing, began in 1996. At present, there are more than 30,000 social donation sites, and an average of 100 million pieces of used clothing are collected every year. It has played a role in poverty alleviation, disaster relief, and other work. effect.

However, reporters visited dozens of love aid agencies. Most people do not like this behavior. Such donations cannot change the predicament of wasted clothes and may also cause new waste.

Clothing donation: "However thankless"

Relative to the waste of clothes, people are more concerned about the safety of clothes, 10 people always have 2 individuals will ask: these old clothes will not have infectious diseases?

“This is the most uninteresting career.” Yang Jingyu, the person in charge of the Inner Mongolia Mountain Volunteer Federation, did volunteer work for six or seven years. At the beginning, there was a market for clothing and the countryside. It was not so popular these two years: General clothing is also There is no shortage of fashion wear. Previously, he and some volunteers would also go into household surveys to see what type of old clothes they would need and provide them targeted services. However, this workload is too great. If you do not persist in doing so, you will often be able to pile up in the village.

Luo Qi, head of the Hohhot Angels Association for Charity for the Public Welfare, also deeply feels: There is not yet a public welfare organization in the area that has facilities for cleaning and disinfecting old clothes. Some organizations organize employee donations, at most in order to complete a love mission, and do not consider the quality of donations at all. This requires volunteers to patiently sort and select, and some will get a simple cleaning and disinfecting treatment at home, and then pack it up again.

The reporter saw at a love clothes rescue station that old clothes were piled on the corner of the corridor and car wash. Liu Shuixia, the head of the station, said that he was afraid to let go of the old clothes and he would be able to collect tens of thousands of pieces in minutes. “It is a difficult problem to collect and store it. When it rains, it is a must for mold. This is the third storage point for replacement.”

Hou Kaili, a member of the Hohhot Society for Poverty Alleviation Work Promotion Association, said that compared with other love aids, clothes have been placed at the bottom of the need for help. Sending clothes to the countryside is increasingly proven to be “not worth the candle”, and the cost of sending clothes is far higher than the value of clothes. Many volunteers have to pay thousands of dollars each year for their personal use. Targeted donations to remote poverty-stricken areas with special needs for clothing need the support of relevant departments.

The old clothes use "tempting", why is it difficult to recycle?

One side is a huge waste, and the other is the tightness of resources. According to Gao Yong, deputy chairman of the China Textile Industry Federation, in 2013, the total amount of fiber processing in the world reached 92.3 million tons, and China occupied more than half. As a big consumer of fiber, the tightening of raw materials will certainly restrict the development of the textile industry.

On the one hand, there is a huge prospect of utilization, and on the other, the recovery is difficult. According to expert analysis, old clothes become waste and treasure has no technical problems for a long time, and its role has been continuously improved: it can be used as insulation layer, industrial cloth, and curtain cloth, and it can also replace the traditional waterproof material for waterproof substrate, and it is also activated carbon. Wide range of inexpensive raw materials.

According to the calculation of the China Textile Industry Federation, if all of China's waste textiles are recycled, the annual supply of chemical fiber and natural fiber is equivalent to saving 24 million tons of crude oil, and it can also reduce 80 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, saving nearly three-fold A cotton planting area. However, China's annual recovery of fiber is less than 10% of raw materials, and there are only some attempts to recycle used clothes in Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Sun Huaibin, deputy secretary-general of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, said that in the United States, which has a history of recycling 70-80 years, the annual value of US$28.9 billion was realized after reusing the used materials such as metal materials, plastics, and waste textiles. With the employment of the population, China is the largest place for disused items in the United States.

"In the end, there are a lot of waste materials in China. The figures are generally estimated." Sun Huaibin said that we must conduct scientific statistics on waste materials and pay attention to waste products as resources. At present, it is imperative to open up policies, support the construction of recycling systems, encourage textile companies to carry out recycling operations, establish a secondary trading market, improve sorting, strengthen scientific and technological development, and increase the added value of recycling.

Although China began to implement the Renewable Energy Law as early as 2006, there is no corresponding supporting clause for the recycling of used clothes. Volunteer Gong Deli said that for the sake of reducing waste of resources and developing a recycling economy, the significance of the recycling of used clothes is very large, but it has not received enough attention in reality. No matter whether it is health, quality inspection, industry and commerce or civil affairs departments, there is no specific management policy for old clothes. Some simple secondhand clothing deals are basically underground.

Guo Yuqiang, deputy director of the Department of Social Welfare and Philanthropy Promotion of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said that the use of old clothes is a major issue and needs to include sincere cooperation with industry associations, companies, organizations, and technology R&D institutions. The recycling of used clothes by individual brand clothing companies is just a beginning. The entry point also needs to expand in a deeper and broader direction.

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