Staying on green course: Spice shopping centre enters into cooperation with AJ Power Recycling

Spice shopping centre continues to promote a culture of sustainability by entering into cooperation with waste management company AJ Power Recycling. The project envisages placing the company’s first textile sorting containers in Riga at the Spice shopping centre. Residents are encouraged to put articles of clothing, footwear and other textile products they no longer need in the specialized containers so they could be recycled and reused instead of ending up in municipal waste.

Approximately 24,000 tons of new textile products enter the Latvian market annually, in addition, almost 1,900 different chemicals may be used in their production, and some of them also have a negative impact on the environment. That is why textiles, just like plastic, glass and other segregated waste, require proper management.

According to a study carried out by Latvia’s environmental protection society European Environment Mission, more than 26,700 tons of textile waste ends up in unsorted municipal waste and is buried in landfills each year. Textiles purchased by households account for a significant part of textile waste. The amount of textile products imported in Latvia significantly, up to 46 times, exceeds the amount of textile waste collected in the country.

“We want this project to draw public attention to our opportunities as consumers of the fashion industry to be sustainable. Not only by making responsible and conscious choices of what we buy, but also by getting rid of what we no longer use in a responsible manner. Clothing and shoes that we no longer need can be useful to someone else, either through charity or other means of reuse. These textiles, when no longer usable, can be used as materials for the production of new material, or finally as a source for energy production. We hope that by placing the specialized containers in a place convenient for residents we will be able to develop a textile sorting culture together,” says AJ Power Recycling head Solveiga Grīsle.

Products placed in the textile containers will be re-sorted. Textiles that are in good condition will be shipped to be reused in the world’s developing countries, quality clothes and shoes will be donated to charity, and part of the textiles will be recycled, for instance, they can be used for generating energy.

“Spice Shopping Centre stands for meaningful, sustainable and customer-focused collaborations. At a time shopping centre Spice undergoes remarkable changes, we are paying special attention to the development of sustainability projects. We believe that setting up these containers for sorting textiles is a step towards a greener future and we are urging other companies to also ask themselves, how can we become friendlier to the environment and the people?" says Iveta Priedīte, Managing Director at Spice and Spice Home shopping centres.

In order for shoes and clothing put in the new containers to be good for recycling, it is essential that the textiles have not been exposed to chemicals, including motor oils and household chemicals, they also must not be torn. The textiles have to be dry and mould-free. The new containers are not meant for articles made of other materials, such as rubber boots, plastic ski boots, stuffed toys. However, it is important to add that home textiles, bags and belts can also be placed in these containers.

By making the sorting of textiles more accessible, we wish to motivate consumers to change their habits and act more sustainably. With the help of these solutions, we hope to prompt people to create as little waste as possible and encourage them to think that the clothes or shoes they purchase will create more waste once they do not use them anymore, however, the environment is already impacted when they are being made, for example, by polluting the water, using chemical dyes, etc.

The containers for sorting textiles are managed by company 3R, a cooperation partner of AJ Power Recycling.