BBC Hugh's War On Waste Highlights Enormity Of UK Waste Problem

published on 12 Nov 2015

The Salvation Army Trading Company has lent its support to the campaign by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to tackle the issue of food and textile waste. His campaign is featured in the BBC documentary series Hugh’s War on Waste.

Spokesperson Catherine Hamou, from the Salvation Army Trading Company, said: “Well done to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and the programme makers of Hugh’s War on Waste for raising the issue of Britain’s enormous waste problem. The BBC series this week highlighted some astonishing facts, not least that the UK will throw away on average £400,000 worth of clothes every day. This figure is alarming in so many ways. As a charity that works with vulnerable people all over the country, we see the effects of poverty every day; good quality clothing should never be thrown away when it can be re-worn by those who need it, or reused and recycled to raise money for good causes. Clothing sent to landfill is also toxic for the environment; some fibres will never decompose while others release a variety of harmful gases that contribute to climate change. Further, by discarding clothes, we are throwing away the hard work that has gone into making them, the resources used to produce them and the environmental footprint that has been made to deliver them to our high streets.

“Waste on this level is unnecessary and preventable. The good news is that charities like ours offer a variety of easy ways to help you reuse and recycle your unwanted items so that we can all take steps to reduce our waste and prolong the life of clothes. Don’t forget, your old clothes are new to someone else, and by donating them you’re helping to raise millions of pounds each year for people in need.”

The Salvation Army has over 400 charity shops in the UK, more than 6700 textile banks up and down the country, and offers a door-to-door clothing collection service in many areas. They make sure almost everything collected is reused or recycled – in fact, less than 1% can’t be recycled, and the organisation is continually working towards a target of zero-waste-to-landfill.

The money raised through reuse and recycling contributes to The Salvation Army’s valuable work in the UK, including homelessness and addiction services, care for older people, help at emergency incidents, support for adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales and a Family Tracing Service. Over the last five years alone the Salvation Army Trading Company’s shops and recycling initiatives have donated over £35 million to The Salvation Army.

To find your nearest shop or textile bank, visit our website, When you donate clothes and shoes, The Salvation Army just asks its donors to make sure everything is clean and dry.