Primark is rolling out a nationwide recycling initiative in the UK, inviting customers to donate their pre-loved clothes, textiles, footwear and bags from any brand to be “reused, recycled or repurposed” via its in-store recycling boxes to ensure nothing goes to landfill.
The ‘Re-loved’ collection boxes will be available in Primark’s 190 stores across the UK and has been launched to help make recycling more convenient for shoppers, following calls from the non-profit WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) for people to protect charity shops from the influx of donations expected as lockdown eases.
WRAP found in recent research that more than a third of the population have had a clear out of unwanted textiles and clothing while at home on lockdown and it is encouraging the public to use other donation options, including in-store collections like Primark’s new scheme which it states are an often underused route for recycling clothing, but do prevent clothing and textiles going to landfill.
Peter Maddox, director at WRAP said in a statement: “Our research shows most people prefer to donate or recycle their unwanted clothes, and often opt for charity shops as their favoured route. With shops just beginning to reopen, that can risk overwhelming charities with an influx of donations.
“Passing on clothes through retail stores is an effective, and often underused way to donate clothes. Primark is a signatory of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan, and this new in-store recycling scheme for clothes gives people even more options, and will help make recycling clothes easier with drop off boxes in stores on high streets and retail hubs across the UK.”
All profits from the scheme will go to UNICEF, Primark’s global charity partner, in support of its education programmes for vulnerable children around the world.
Primark partners with Yellow Octopus for ‘Re-loved’ recycling scheme
Primark has partnered with Yellow Octopus, a recycling specialist with a ‘no landfill’ policy across the 21 countries it operates in, to implement its recycling scheme. Yellow Octopus diverts around one million garments from landfill every month and aims for as many donations as possible to be worn again, with the remainder being repurposed into new products such as insulation, toy stuffing and mattress fillers.
Katharine Stewart, ethical trade and environmental sustainability director at Primark added: “We know people don’t always find it easy to recycle their clothes, textiles and shoes. And we know people have had big clear-outs during lockdown. Now is the perfect time to be launching our in-store recycling programme, making it convenient for customers to give a second life to items from their wardrobe that they no longer need.
"This will reduce waste going to landfill and help our customers to help the environment. With the profits going to UNICEF’s important childhood education programmes we are also supporting our global charity partner in their work.”
Images: courtesy of Primark