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回收冬季衣服的反思

2018/10/19 — 16:48

圖片來源:長春社

圖片來源:長春社

中秋過後,提醒我們秋天已到,冬天將至。相信大家都趁機於換季時整理衣櫃,將款式過時及殘舊的衣服棄置,騰空衣櫃添置冬季衣服。不少市民習慣將舊衣物放入回收箱,避免造成浪費。但究竟我們的舊衣是否適合接收的地區?會否有供過於求的情況?回收是否真能解決浪費的問題?

舊衣回收業初期,國內及東南亞地區對舊衣的需求大,回收條件會較為寛鬆。但近年,內地對於廢物進口檢測標準收緊,由 2013 年內地展開「綠籬行動」,到 2017 年正式宣佈將於年底不再進口 24 類固體廢物,當中包括回收舊衣,導致大量原本進口內地的舊衣需轉進口到東南亞。當大量舊衣湧入,市場再大,亦有飽和的一天,加上舊衣的選擇變多,市場對舊衣的質素要求亦更趨嚴格及精細。

在各類回收衣物當中,回收冬季衣服的困難更大。由於東南亞地區氣候炎熱,對冬季厚衣的需求很少,雖然回收商於分類時已盡量將可重用的舊衣出口,但礙於當地市場需求、出口限制及舊衣的質素,確實有部分未能重用的舊衣需無奈地被棄罝於堆填區。因為回收的舊衣並不一定能找到新主人,當中所造成的浪費實屬消費者的責任,故我們於購買及回收前應多作考量,特別是冬季衣服這類更難回收的衣服。

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購買冬季衣服前不妨多問問自己,真的需要嗎?

  • 今年仍可穿著去年的冬季衣服,有需要再添置嗎?
  • 香港的冬天不至於非常寒冷,需要這麼多件厚衣嗎?
  • 去寒冷的地方旅行,想購買禦寒厚褸,但該厚褸不適合在港穿著,真的有必要為一次旅行而買?可否向親戚朋友借?有否其他衣物替代?會否以洋蔥式的穿著更為方便舒適?

Recycling of Winter Clothing 

After the celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, it is time to tidy our wardrobe and prepare winter clothing. Many residents used to put used clothes into recycling banks to minimize wastage. However, should we ask ourselves: are the used clothes we recycled suitable in the importing countries?  Would it be in low demand? Can recycling such clothing really solve the waste problem?

During the developing stage of Used Clothes Recycling, demands from Mainland China and South-East Asia were high while the recycling standards from the importing countries were easy to meet. However, such standards for importing waste were tightened up in China since 2013 with the implementation of "Operation Green Fence”. Furthermore, 24 specified types of solid wastes, including used clothes, will be prohibited in China by the end of 2017. These changes are leading to a large amount of used clothes being exported to South-East Asia instead of China. With the increased choices of used clothes, the condition of the clothing becomes stricter. It is believed that the South-East Asia market will become saturated soon with the growing supply.

In fact, winter clothing is more difficult to reuse among other used clothes categories. The demand of winter clothes is low mainly due to the warmer climate in South-East Asia. Although local collectors put a lot of effort to sort out and export reusable used clothes, some will indeed be discarded unwillingly due to low market demand, export restrictions and/or undesirable conditions. Given there is no guarantee that all used clothes will be reused by the receiving country, we (as consumers) need to shoulder our individual responsibilities with careful considerations before each purchase, especially for winter clothing:

  • Is it necessary to buy a new one if the clothes from previous winter seasons are still wearable?
  • Is it necessary to buy heavily winterized clothing under Hong Kong’s relatively warm climate?
  • Is it necessary to buy winter clothing specifically for travelling? Can we borrow from friends? Any other alternatives, such as layering, which should be more convenient and comfortable for packing?
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