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The Global E-waste Monitor 2020 report found that the world dumped a record 53.6 million tonnes of e-waste last year — equivalent to the the weight of 350 cruise ships the size of the Queen Mary 2, or enough to form a line 125 kilometres long. That's an increase of 21 per cent in five years, the report said.

Just 17.4 per cent of it was recycled, meaning that an estimated $57 billion worth of gold, silver, copper, platinum and other high-value, recoverable materials used as components were mostly dumped or burned rather than being collected for treatment and reuse.

 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began early this year, textile recyclers and exporters have had to cut their prices to shift stock as lockdown measures restrict movement and business slows in end markets abroad. For many, it’s no longer commercially viable and they can’t afford to move merchandise.

From London to Los Angeles, many thrift shops and clothing banks outside stores and on streets have been deluged with more clothes than could be sold on, leading to mountains of garments building up in sorting warehouses.

Metro Vancouver has launched Think Thrice About Your Clothes, a new waste reduction campaign aimed at cutting the amount of clothing being thrown out in the region.

Textile waste is one of the fastest-growing categories of waste, currently accounting for five per cent of the annual total garbage produced each year in the region. Last year, Metro Vancouver residents threw out more than 44 million pounds of textiles, equivalent to the weight of 44 T-shirts per person.

Implementing a systematic change can seem daunting, but nearly every significant disruption starts with seemingly minor – but ultimately fundamental – changes to the foundation. While a transformation as seismic as a fully realized commitment to the circular economy may seem impossible on the surface, it can progress far more quickly through a commitment from organizations to make seemingly small but impactful modifications in key areas.

Flat-pack furnishings retailer Ikea said Tuesday that it will offer to buy back thousands of pieces of used Ikea furniture in 27 countries, for resale, recycling or donation to community projects.

"A circular economy can only be achieved through investment and collaboration with customers, other businesses, local communities and governments, so we can eradicate waste and create a cycle of repair, reuse, refurbishment and recycling", said Pia Heidenmark Cook, the group's chief sustainability officer.

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