Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 06 Hansard (Tuesday, 7 June 2022) . . Page.. 1748 ..
I appreciated the minister’s words about the problems that charities have had with illegal dumping. It is important to make sure that, when you give something to a charity, they actually want it and that it is in a good, acceptable condition. That is exactly why we need fabric recyclers as well as fabric re-users, because at some point whatever you have will be completely unwearable and unusable for anyone else, and we will have to recycle it or send it to landfill.
Koomarri do rags and fibres. They often work with the op shops to pick up that rag trade, and that is good to see. There is a lot of innovation coming through in that recycling sector. I was recently out at Canberra City Care in Charnwood. They are using fabric offcuts to make barrier bags in anticipation of the government phasing out the next round of plastics. They make a lot of goods from old fabric.
H&M stores have recycling boxes. They take back old clothing, underwear and ripped tights—things that you cannot give away. Sheridan started taking old sheets and towels, which was great to see. Wildcare Queanbeyan sometimes take old rags and clothing. I use a business called Upparel. That is a different business model. You actually have to pay for that. They come to my house. I pay them money and they take away a box of fibres and turn that back into new goods. They then sell socks and things to the public.
Because I get most of my clothing for free, or I do not pay very much for it, I am happy to pay to recycle, but I know that that is not a great option for everyone. The thing is that there are already a lot of good options. You can buy less, and you can make it last and wear it for a long time. You can buy second-hand. You can buy stuff that is made from recycled fabric, and you can make sure that you are recycling it at the end of life.
It is really good to see Ms Orr’s motion today because it will contribute to all of those options and help us to build the growing, viable business scene that we are already seeing grow. It will make sure that we turn our minds to this in our upcoming circular economy paper, and make sure that we are building up all of those great options, making a lot of jobs and cutting a lot of our environmental footprint at the same time. The ACT Greens are very happy to support this motion.
MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (3.48): I thank Ms Orr for bringing this motion regarding textiles and sustainability before the Assembly today. In March I spoke in this chamber about the Repair Cafe in Ginninderry. On that occasion, I noted my strong commitment to thrift and the wise management of resources. “If I can buy perfectly good second-hand clothing at an op shop,” I said then, “there is no reason to buy things that are brand new. If a button falls off, sew it back on.”
In my previous speech I also mentioned PhD student Monica Andrew, whom I met during my very enjoyable visit to the Ginninderry Repair Cafe. Monica and her husband, John, are regular volunteers at Ginninderry, where the Repair Cafe is held on the first Sunday of each month. In addition, Monica established the Repair Cafe at the University of Canberra at the end of 2018.