Planet Aid Recycling
Every year the U.S. generates a total of 545 million tons of solid waste and, according to the EPA, textile waste accounts for about 5% of the total waste steam.
Planet Aid is one of the many textile reuse and Recycling companies that help to keep about 2.5 billion pounds of textile waste from entering landfills each year.
Despite the fact that 2,500,000,000 lbs. looks like an enormous number on paper, the sad fact is that it only accounts for around 10% of the total textile waste generated in the United States. A 2004 University of Missouri study shows that, on average, Americans generate about 83.9 lbs. of textile waste each year; yet only 10 of those pounds are recycled, despite EPA claims that nearly 99% of post-consumer textiles are fully recyclable.
Planet Aid Gathers Nearly 100 million Pounds
Each year, Planet Aid collects approximately 100 million pounds of clothing and shoes from its 13,000 yellow donation bins around the nation – less than .01% of the total textiles collected in the US for reuse or Recycling, yet equivalent to the weight of more than 254 Boeing 747 Jumbo Jets.
Demand for Recycled Clothes
According to the EPA, 61% of clothing recovered for reuse is exported abroad. The clothing collected by Planet Aid is processed, bundled and then sold to exporters, who make clothes available at low costs to lesser-developed regions of the world. The funds Planet Aid generates through the sale of donated clothing are used to help support international aid and Development projects in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Since
Used Clothing Outfits 80% of the World
Secondhand clothing is a way of life in Africa where, according to the Bureau for International Recycling (BIR), in some countries up to 80% of the population dresses in used clothing. In fact, BIR states that approximately 70% of the world’s population gets their clothing secondhand.
A Livelihood for Many
Secondhand clothes provide an affordable alternative to newly manufactured items and, in addition, they create jobs both at home and abroad. In the U.S., the Recycling and used textile industries employ between 20-30,000 people. Worldwide the the labor force numbers in the hundreds of thousands – from international distributors to entrepreneurs operating a one-person clothes stall in the village market.