Massachusetts takes action to reduce textile waste

New law means fewer clothing items will end up in landfills.

mentatdgt | CC-BY-4.0

On November 1st Massachusetts implemented a new ban on throwing away textiles such as some clothing items, footwear, bedding, towels, curtains, fabric, and other similar materials. People will have to donate or find recycling centers for their used products instead of sending them to a landfill. The state reports that residents throw out 230,000 tons of textiles every year, but 85% of these materials could be donated, reused, or recycled. 

The state will work with waste facilities to determine where large amounts of textile waste is originating to guide enforcement. In 2018 textiles made up almost 8% of waste in landfills. The amount of textile waste contributed to landfills was more than 11 million tons in 2018

This law will reduce the lifecycle effects of textiles and reduce the impact of virgin resource extraction. Landfills can negatively impact the health of people in surrounding communities so diverting these materials brings us closer to a healthier, circular future. 

Here is a directory of where to take your used textiles so they don’t end up in a landfill.

Holly Thompson
Holly Thompson

Former Beyond Plastic, Associate, PIRG

Matt Casale

Former Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG


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