SSROC: Textile action plan for Sydney councils

Case Studies

Dec 3, 2022

Click here for full action plan 

One of the important ways that councils can reduce carbon emissions is by supporting a circular textile economy. This includes taking actions to increase recovery and progress sustainable procurement outcomes by supporting local jobs in social enterprises and the reuse economy.

Textiles in Sydney are disposed of primarily via the kerbside collection system, commercial landfill disposal, clothing collection and donation. 

This new textile action plan included a review of available textiles data relevant to Sydney councils. The data analysis found that residents and businesses in the Sydney region generate an estimated 208,906t of unwanted textiles every year, which is approximately two-thirds of textiles discarded in NSW.

Therefore, this action plan seeks to be the first cohesive metropolitan plan to address textile waste in Australia. This plan outlines how local governments can stimulate our circular economy for textiles through recovery programs, procurement initiatives, advocacy support and industry collaboration. 

The Plan references the targets of the National Waste Action Plan, and sets out to: 

  • Reduce textile waste discarded in Sydney. 

 

  • Work toward increasing textile recovery from residents and council operations to 50% by 2026.

 

  • Significantly increase the use of recycled content in textiles procured by councils. 

 

How councils can facilitate new circular systems of textile production: 

  • Aligned and informed council advocacy to state and federal governments to support investment in onshore textile recycling facilities, the establishment of stewardship schemes, and introducing Right to Repair legislation. 

 

  • Working with recyclers, charities, and relevant government authorities to expand clothing collection systems and diversify end markets.

 

  • Aligning with national targets for textiles and collaborating with other sectors on textiles recovery through forums such as the emerging National Textiles Network which the Sydney ROCs helped the NSW EPA and ACTA develop. 

 

SSROC is a member of Circular Australia’s Precincts & Infrastructure Taskforce. 

See all our Taskforce members on our Partners Page

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