Donated rags costing Latvian charity riches

The charity foundation Otrā Elpa (Second Breath) is kicking off the “Let's Part as Friends” donation campaign today at 6:30 p.m. at the Alfa shopping center with a celebrity discussion on choosing which clothes to donate, as the amount of unsellable donations cost the charity over 8,000 euros in garbage disposal bills, according to a Latvian Radio broadcast on March 12.

“We sell only good quality items in our shops. What we don't sell gets passed on to social organizations – nursing homes, social centers, shelters. But we can't give things that aren't of good quality,” said Foundation Manager Liene Reine-Miteva.

The profit Otrā Elpa makes from selling clothes is donated to the Children's Hospital Foundation. Hopefully the campaign will encourage people to reevaluate the quality of their donations and consider alternatives, such as textile recycling, for poor quality items. Then the foundation can spend less money on taking out the trash and more money on helping society.

As previously reported, A European Union directive has mandated that textile recycling containers must be placed next to glass, cardboard and plastic containers by 2025, but a Latvian pilot program already set out 20 textile recycling points last September. Clean, but used clothing, shoes, bedding or plush toys can be reprocessed and used again.

Currently no Latvian regulations mention textile recycling, partly because the EU hasn't discussed it before now. Latvia and the Baltic countries currently lack textile recycling facilities for creating new products or materials. More than 20 tons of textile have been collected so far through the pilot program containers.
 

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