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Module 1: The Scale of Textile Pollution

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Learning Objectives:


Explore how textile waste generation is increasing.


Examine how textile waste reaches the Global South.


Describe where textiles end up when they are disposed.


Identify regions receiving the most textile waste. 

Pile of old worn clothes.jpg

How much textile waste is there?

Where does textile waste go?

Untitled design (4).png


of textile waste is sent to landfills in the U.S.


of textile waste is sent to incinerators in the U.S.


of textile waste is recycled in the U.S. or sent abroad

Used clothes at recycling utility. Circular economy concept..jpg

Where do donated clothes go?

How much used clothing does the U.S. ship abroad?

In 2019, 1.7 billion pounds of used clothing were exported from the United States..png

Source: UN Comtrade

Container Yard

Where does the U.S. ship used clothes?

A Crane Lifting a Container

What about Europe?

Learning Check

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