The United Kingdom will provide £22.5 million to five research centres in London, Loughborough and Exeter to help industries tackle waste, boost recycling and build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic. The centres will explore how the reuse of waste materials in the textile and other industries can protect the environment and boost the economy.
Emissions from the UK’s textiles industry alone are almost as high as those from cars used for private trips, and it is estimated that £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfill each year.
The better reuse and recycling techniques developed by these new centres will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve natural resources and provide new opportunities for UK industries, according to an official release. Research has shown that expanding the circular economy could create up to 500,000 gross jobs by 2030.
“We want to further the UK’s status as a world-leader in finding green solutions to industrial challenges, and projects like these are excellent examples of placing manufacturers at the forefront of the green industrial revolution,” Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said.
“Creating a more circular economy for our waste and resources lies at the heart of this government’s transformative agenda for the environment, and we are committed to going further and faster to reduce, reuse and recycle more of our resources – with strong measures to enable this coming forward in our landmark Environment Bill,” environment minister Rebecca Pow said.
To tackle the emissions from the UK’s textiles industry, one of the centres, the Interdisciplinary Textiles Circularity Centre, led by the Royal College of Art, aims to lessen the environmental impact of clothing in the UK by using household waste and used fabrics to develop new textiles instead of relying on imported materials.
The new funding follows July’s announcement of £350 million to cut emissions in heavy industry and accelerate the UK’s economic recovery.
This article orignially appeared in Fibre2Fashion