The Issue | Waste Reduction Week in Canada

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The Issue

Clothes thrown away account for a huge amount of waste in garbage dumps, according to CBC Marketplace's latest investigation. Canadians on average purchase 70 new articles of clothing a year and that contributes to the 12 million tons a year of textile waste dumped into North America's landfills. Some retailers have launched sustainability campaigns and set up in-store bins for recycling old items, but it's no solution to the endless onslaught of throw-away clothes

The fashion industry produces more harmful carbon emissions than the aviation and shipping industries combined. Does your closet contribute to climate change? Find out with thredUP’s fashion footprint calculator.

This report outlines a vision for a system that works, delivering long-term benefits – a new textiles economy based on the principles of a circular economy. It offers a direction of travel on which the industry can agree and focus its efforts. In a new textiles economy, clothes, textiles, and fibres are kept at their highest value during use and re-enter the economy afterwards, never ending up as waste. This vision is distinct from, and complements, ongoing efforts to make the textiles system more sustainable by minimising its negative impacts.

As part of a range of activities focused on reducing methane emissions, under the Strategy on Short-Lived Climate Pollutants, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is consulting stakeholders on strategies to reduce avoidable food loss and waste.

On February 28, 2019, Recycling Council of Ontario attended a workshop on Reducing Food Loss and Waste in Canada hosted by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).

Nearly 60 percent of food produced in Canada – amounting to 35.5 million metric tonnes – is lost and wasted annually. Of that, 32 percent – equalling 11.2 million metric tonnes of lost food – is avoidable and is edible food that could be redirected to support people in our communities.

The total financial value of this potentially rescuable lost and wasted food is a staggering $49.46 billion.

The millions of tons of plastic swirling around the world’s oceans have garnered a lot of media attention recently. But plastic pollution arguably poses a bigger threat to the plants and animals – including humans – who are based on land.

Very little of the plastic we discard every day is recycled or incinerated in waste-to-energy facilities. Much of it ends up in landfills, where it may take up to 1,000 years to decompose, leaching potentially toxic substances into the soil and water.

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