United States – The holiday retail sales will total an estimated US$ 680 billion in the US this year. For many households, more gifts this Christmas will mean more clutter. And so the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) is encouraging the North American public to donate not only their old clothes but also some less obvious candidates for recycling – such as stuffed animals.
Collection locations across Canada and the USA package clean, soft toys such as teddy bears and send them to countries such as El Salvador, where they are sold at thrift stores and end up with a new home. In the past two years, for example, Bank & Vogue Ltd of Ottawa in Canada has recycled approximately 1.4 million pounds of toys.
Its president Steven Bethell notes: ‘Our goal is to provide creative ideas and solutions to help deal with the overwhelming amount of “stuff” we all consume, particularly at this time of year.’
Nearly 100% of donated textiles are reused and recycled into either usable clothing, fibre conversion grade or wiping cloth grade, SMART underlines.