Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 7 June 2022) . . Page.. 1745 ..
That shows a strong commitment from the community to find ways to reduce their waste wherever possible.
As Ms Orr notes, the ACT government is developing a circular economy strategy for the ACT. As a part of that, we will be looking at a wide range of options to progress the concept of a circular economy here in Canberra. We will be seeking to see whether we can design out waste streams and keep materials in use at their highest value. Through that body of work, we will investigate opportunities to keep textiles in circulation through the community-led and fashion-forward opportunities that are already happening through the kinds of pilot programs and events that I have mentioned. It is also about stepping up the advocacy at a national level, particularly to some of the fashion houses, to make sure that, when they are designing clothing, they do so in a way that not only promotes re-use and very good quality items, but makes sure that they are doing so in an environmentally sustainable way, and that they are creating clothing that is environmentally friendly.
We have seen some clothing manufacturers do that. Some are offering to mend and repair their fashion items. One of the manufacturers that was discussed at the Zero Waste Festival was Patagonia. They offer that for their puffer jackets and all of those sorts of items that they sell. It would be good to see more fashion houses take up that opportunity. Hopefully, through national work, we will improve the environmental friendliness of our fashion industry, which is, unfortunately, a creator of this large waste stream.
I look forward to having the opportunity to work with the community and hear their views, and to bring together a vision of the circular economy here for the ACT that is not only practical but has that nationwide and worldwide vision. This motion reflects just one waste stream, and we will be looking to incorporate many more as part of those plans. I thank Ms Orr for bringing this motion forward to the Assembly.
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (3.39): I rise today to speak in support of Ms Orr’s motion. It is really good to come in here and talk about the circular economy, carbon emissions and the environment.
I will start with a question: have you ever stood in front of a packed wardrobe and wondered why you have nothing to wear? Unfortunately, a lot of us have had that experience a lot of times. Most of us buy a lot of clothing, and most of that clothing ends up in landfill. There is also a lot of unworn clothing outside landfill sitting around in cupboards, unworn. I used to work in the recycling industry, and we would call that the above-ground landfill. It is particularly true for clothing.
We have talked a lot here about waste to landfill, and that is certainly an environmental problem. But all of that clothing and all of those textiles represent a much greater environmental problem. There is wasted water to make them. There is wasted land to grow them and create them. There is wasted energy and carbon emissions, and there is a big environmental footprint on all of that stuff.
The textile industry is one of the five largest contributors to carbon emissions, and Australia is the world’s second largest per capita consumer of textiles. We know that