Paradigm Shift 4zzz fm 102.1 Fridays at noon 17 March 2017.
Andy and Ian discuss the politics of recycling clothes.
Andy interviews Laurence Lewis, an engineer who is studying the recycling of textiles. Laurence is analyzing the effects of clothes donations given after Natural Disasters.
Points made by Laurence:
Textiles discarded as unwanted clothing ends up as landfill.
People donate textiles during natural disasters.
50% of goods donated are useless. Medicines have expired used by dates, toys are not suitable and food is often unusable. If there’s a flood supply lines of useless goods clog up roads and warehouses that have things people need.
If they fly goods into poverty stricken countries like Haiti they have to go through the Dominican Republic. Things that are needed are prevented from arriving. Peoples lives are lost. Goods need to be stored. For example, the Dominican airport becomes full of useless junk.
During Japanese tsunami there are harmful factors of sending clothes. The push factors are people are not informed. During a tsunami in Japan people sent 100,000 blankets and these became industrial waste because there were far too many.
We should be reducing, reusing clothing and regulating the consumer market.
In a recent New York hurricane people donated Halloween costumes thinking that children would not have them for Halloween which followed the hurricane.
A lot of these donations are made through companies in order to get a tax deduction. For example there was huge collection of undrinkable soft drinks stored in a warehouse so that the company could get a tax deduction.
Salvos have been going 130 years and they are been using used by people, disassociated from the actual victims, to donate to charity.
During hurricane Katrina trucks dumped donations into flooding waters.
The flow of money from poor to rich countries through clothing alone amounts to $US700 million dollars per annum. The impact is neo-colonial in places like Malawi or Tanzania and this system becomes the norm – a natural circumstance which reinforces neo-colonialism.
Laurence advised that the best thing to do is to cut up your clothing before you give them to charities so that the recyclers use them to make carpets or paper.
Don’t donate clothing in a natural disaster situation. Charity is done in a vacuum and it’s far from the actual circumstance that caused the disaster.
Remember that when you give clothing … it’s only going to get used one more time and then it’s going to end up as landfill. For example people donated ‘dog shoes’ after the 9/11 bombings.
Methane from landfill and help generates electricity but that only happens when the material is organic.
Alien Virus – Consume and die
The Kinks – Dedicated follower of fashion
Slyngshot – Dirty spoon
Ghost Mice – House on fire
Joe Geia – Yil lul
Formidable Vegetable Sound System – No such thing as waste