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Recycling division of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan sets out key focus as WRAP takes lead

New commercial applications for recycling textile grades, new collection systems and formalisation of recycling grade specifications will be key focus areas for the recycling division of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP).

At the SCAP annual conference the Reuse and Recycling Working Group, formed in September last year, outlined its key ambitions for the future, working with WRAP. 

WRAP takes over the lead on SCAP from Defra on 1 April.

Key areas will be:

·         The introduction of new collection systems, such as instore takeback and across the internet, and initiatives to improve existing ones;

·         Promotion of clothing/textiles collection for reuse and recycling with a preference for reuse;

·         Market development for recycling grades;

·         Developing new markets for established applications;

·         New commercial applications for recycling grades;

·         Develop a formalisation of specifications for recycling grades.

Textile Recycling Association national liaison manager and member of the working group Alan Wheeler explained: “Efforts should be made to reuse and recycle more and this means increasing the UK’s capacity to sort clothing before it is sent for export. [This will recover more textiles suitable for reuse and recycling] ensuring better prices can be commanded for the material, it is of a higher quality and it improves the traceabilty of the material.”

He added that although recycling grade material is recognised by the industry, it is a verbal agreement. Formalising the standards for material grades will help drive up quality standards and encourage new market players to take on the formalisations.

The group will also work to overcome barriers to improving textile collection such as theft and local authority licensing of door to door collections.

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