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LONDON – Clothing deposited in recycling bins in Europe was found to travel up to 17,000 km before in some cases ending up in landfill. Researchers hid 16 geolocation tags to track clothing placed in recycling bins in Switzerland. As well as charities such as the Red Cross, these bins are also used by fashion brands such as C&A, H&M and Zara as part of take-back schemes. Via slick marketing, customers are given the impression they are contributing to the circular economy via such schemes. However, an investigation found each item of clothing travelled 6,200 km on average moving by truck or boat. The project began in January 2,000 and some clothing was still in transit more than 250 days later.

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