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BONN – A new Germany study suggests the percentage of used clothing being incinerated is on the rise due to the declining quality of discarded textiles. The researchers estimate that 8 per cent of clothing collected in Germany was burned in 2013 – but this figure had risen to 12 per cent five years later, and appears to be following a significant upward trend. Recyclers interviewed for the study suggest the trend is upwards due to the proliferation of cheap man-made fibres.

Recyclers noted that a key factor in the trend is that old clothes in many cases can no longer even be downcycled into rags and dusters as their plastic content is too high, meaning their absorbency rate is inadequate.

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