What happens to textiles after arriving at the dump?
When fabrics go to the landfills, they do not decompose easily owing to the amount of chemicals used in the textile production process.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The thrown out fabrics produces greenhouse gases during the thrown out process (like being incinerated).
Greenhouse gases damage our ozone layer and propagate respiratory and health problems.
Fabrics that are thrown out are commonly incinerated, a process of burning trash due to limited space in the landfills. The pollution from this method of waste disposal is unfathomably high.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Another greenhouse gas that originates from textile incineration processes. CO2 is also a powerful carcinogen, resulting in cancer, cardiac or respiratory problems.
During the slow degradation of fabrics, they release approximately 3-4 times their mass in methane.
Not Fire Proof!
Aside from contributing to climate change, methane accumulation over landfill sites is a major explosive and fire hazard!
It’s raining Acid!
When materials in the landfills get rained upon for years, they produce toxic ground water due to the accumulation of chemicals that run out from the fabrics into the soil.
Ground Water runs
This toxic ground water runs-off into other soil, destroying the natural ecology within the soil and diminishing fertility.
I can’t breathe under polluted water!
Fish and other marine wildlife are immediately affected, as these chemicals change the pH balance of water.
I can’t drink the polluted water!
Wildlife is affected when animals drink this water, causing health issues as well as death with the potential for extinction in certain species.
It’s going to rain more Acid!
The effects are worse if this water sits on top of the ground. After being evaporated, the chemicals can still be found present inside rain clouds and this results in acid rain! Acid rain can be viewed as mobile toxic groundwater that then rains back down, repeating the same soil damages over a larger surface area.
How can you make a difference?
There are things we can definitely do to reduce the load off of dump sites and help our planet along. You can Try to:
Recycle your clothing
Donate your clothing
Buy or sell at Thrift stores
Think before you throw!