Illegal imports = clogged landfills: Brits & SARS have a cleaner, greener solution

Illegal textile and clothing imports have a massive effect on both our economy and ecology. These imports avoid tax, enabling them to undercut the local market without contributing to our nation’s GDP. This not only robs the state of funds that could be used to uplift South African people, but forces locally-manufactured goods off the shelves by offering a much cheaper product, leaving local families and businesses struggling to survive.

On the environmental side, most of these illegal imports have historically been sent to our landfills. This adds an extra burden on our waste management system, while contributing to environmental pollution as they decompose. However, many of these textiles clogging our landfills are completely recyclable.

SARS has recently increased their program of stemming the tide of illegal textiles and needed to find an eco-friendly solution, with limited environmental impact, to dispose of the confiscated articles.

Consequently, SARS recently put out a tender to destroy hundreds of tons of confiscated, illegal clothing. At Brits Nonwoven, we have established ourselves as a suitable recycler for such materials and were thus able to provide this valuable service to SARS.

We know that looking after the environment is part of our responsibility. Our commitment to remaining eco-friendly is evidenced by our wide range of green initiatives, from creating high-quality products from recycled materials to actively reducing our impact on the areas we work in. So when SARS put out the tender to destroy hundreds of tons of illegal imports, it was only natural that we stepped up to the plate.

Our recycling program goes beyond the initiative driven by SARS. We are able to offer a service to the industry as a whole, with companies bringing us their cut-offs for us to recycle for free. The company receives a certificate to apply for a rebate, while we use the resulting flock for recycled fabrics and textiles – a win-win-win for us, the industry and the environment.