The Environmental Impact of Textiles
Recycling textiles has a lasting, positive impact on our planet by curbing waste and pollution. It decreases carbon dioxide emissions and the amount of harmful pollutants in our water supplies while preserving landfill space.
- Reusing 1 pound of cotton prevents the emission of more than 7 pounds of carbon dioxide. That is like driving a car for 7 miles.
- 700 gallons of water are used to manufacture a single cotton T-shirt.
- 1/3 pound of pesticides are used to grow cotton used in just one T-shirt.
- According to the World Bank, 17 – 20% of industrial water pollution is due to textile dyeing and treatment.
- Textiles in landfills require years to decompose, and during the process release harmful greenhouse gas, known as methane.
- If all 300 million Americans reused just one T-shirt, we would save 210 billion gallons of water and 1 billion pounds of CO2.
According to the EPA, 22 Billion pounds of of textiles are thrown in the trash in the U.S. each year. We can have an impact by being mindful and recycling in a way that benefits community organizations and our planet.