Clothing: Waste Disposal

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 2nd September 2020.

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Photo of Anthony Mangnall Anthony Mangnall Conservative, Totnes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to prevent the use of (a) incineration and (b) landfill for unsold clothing suitable for (i) reusing and (ii) recycling.

Photo of Anthony Mangnall Anthony Mangnall Conservative, Totnes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a reduction in the rate of VAT on clothing repair services on trends in the level of the reuse of clothing.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Government is committed to working towards reducing textiles and clothing sent to landfill and incineration. For all materials, including textiles and clothing, prioritising waste prevention, reuse, and recycling ahead of landfill and incineration is embedded in the waste hierarchy and legislation is in place to support this.

In our Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS, 2018), we highlighted our commitment to support reuse, recycling and the diversion of clothing from landfill and incineration. We are working with the Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP) and industry on a new voluntary agreement and are seeking enabling powers in the Environment Bill to introduce product design and information requirements. The RWS also identified textiles as one of five priority waste streams to consult on for an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme. VAT and taxation are matters for HM Treasury (HMT) and Defra will continue to work with other Government Departments, including HMT, on the development of policies.

We are supporting the textiles reuse and recycling sector, which has experienced challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, through the WRAP-administered Resource Action Fund. The textiles fund makes a total of £1.5 million available, for small grants of £20 000 to £170 000.

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