Page 1741 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 7 June 2022
consumption for water and land use and the fifth highest for the use of primary raw materials.
Given that Australians acquire and discard more clothing per capita than any other country in the European Union, it is not unreasonable to imagine that our textile consumption also has a significant and detrimental impact on the environment. Like in the European Union, one of the solutions to these waste issues is to incorporate textiles that have been discarded or are no longer required into a burgeoning circular economy.
This transition to a more circular economy is not only environmentally beneficial, it is also economically and socially beneficial. Re-using and recycling create approximately 9.2 jobs per 10,000 tonnes of waste. This is compared with 2.8 jobs per 10,000 tonnes of waste sent to landfill. These are jobs that should be invested in and realistically will become the jobs of the very near future as part of a cleaner and more sustainable economy.
One of the pioneers of the circular economy for textiles here in Canberra, who I have previously spoken about in the Assembly while discussing these issues, is Kelli Donovan. Kelli is the CEO, creative director and founder of Pure Pod, a sustainable fashion label that provides people with high quality and sustainably sourced and produced clothing. Pure Pod is a great example of a small business that is providing customers with an alternative to fast fashion. It is this type of small business that we have the potential to help get going on their plans to repurpose textiles, with appropriate government support through including textiles in the draft circular economy plan.
I mentioned before that the average Australian discards around 23 kilograms of clothing to landfill a year. I acknowledge that many of us in this chamber will find this hard to believe, as we may not personally contribute to this. However, many Australians do, and can easily reduce this by ensuring that their discarded clothing is repurposed or given a new home.
This motion, and the subsequent planning and actions that will come from it, will help to create positive change for the textile industry here in the ACT and help to establish new ways for Canberrans to contribute to a circular economy. The ability to participate in clothes swaps, donate their textiles for refurbishing, or even the ability to recycle their textiles that cannot be re-used or repurposed, will be of benefit to our environment and our community.
Lastly, I want to touch on the positive economic aspect of my motion. As part of my motion, the ACT government has the ability to create new local jobs for Canberrans. The ACT government can explore how best to encourage and implement a circular economy, with the textile industry being a focus.
I find it very exciting when thinking about the positive impacts that these changes will have on our community. Our environment will benefit greatly. Our local textile Canberra businesses will be better supported. In the conversations that I have had,