According to statistics, nearly 70% of used clothing items recycled every year in Taiwan can be reused, while more than 30% ends up as waste because they are too soiled or otherwise in poor condition. The EPA recommends the public to use their used clothing to the fullest extent before placing them in recycling bins. With love and kindness, many used clothing items can be cleaned, sorted, and given to people in need to extend item lifespans, while also reducing waste generation.
On 8 November 2021, aiming to increase the public’s awareness of the recycling channels for used clothing items and how to recycle them, while simultaneously increasing the recycling rate and other benefits from using used clothes, the EPA issued A Guide for the Public to Recycle Used Clothing in order to strengthen public awareness of the concept and practice of recycling used clothing. The EPA stated that recyclable used clothes refer mainly to items that are clean and still wearable, such as outerwear, pants, skirts, dresses, vests, coats, suits, etc. After cleaning and sorting, the public can hand used clothing over to the recycling trucks of cleaning squads or place them in used clothing recycling bins approved by local governments.
Some fashion brands have set up recycling bins in their stores to recycle used clothes and fulfill their corporate social responsibility. In addition, privately operated second-hand clothes recycling sites are another channel for recycling used clothes. Furthermore, the EPA has set up a National Treasure Map of Unused Goods, which collects data from more than 1,500 used clothing recycling and repair sites for public inquiries.
Clothing recycling bins are provided by local governments for welfare groups to install, and the EPA urged the public not to place any item other than old clothing in such bins and to keep the surrounding environment clean and tidy. If unsanitary conditions, untidiness, impediments to traffic, or illegally placed recycling bins are found, the public can call the free number 0800-066-666 or contact the local environmental protection bureau to report them.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, March 2022
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)