The Government has rejected proposals to improve the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry.
Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee made 18 recommendations in February, including the imposition of a penny tax on garments to fund recycling and a ban on incinerating unsold stock or sending it to landfill.
The committee’s report, Fixing Fashion, showed that UK shoppers buy more new clothes than their counterparts in any other European country and that textile production generates more emissions contributing to climate change than aviation and shipping combined.
However, the Government has responded that it prefers voluntary rather than mandatory solutions to address the issues and that a variety of initiatives are already under way.
Environmental Audit Committee chair Mary Creagh MP said: “Fashion producers should be forced to clear up the mountains of waste they create.
“The Government is content to tolerate practices that trash the environment and exploit workers despite having just committed to net zero emission targets.
“It is out of step with the public who are shocked by the fact that we are sending 300,000 tonnes of clothes a year to incineration or landfill.”
A Government spokesperson maintained: “It simply isn’t true to say we are not accepting the committee’s recommendations.
“In our landmark Resources and Waste Strategy we will take forward measures including developing proposals and consulting on extended producer responsibility and higher product standards for textiles.
“This would make producers responsible for the full cost of managing and disposing of their products after they’re no longer useful.”
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