bank will transform 32 tons of uniforms into building materials, sofas | The Macleay Argus


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The “mountains” of old Bendigo Bank uniforms will be turned into what is considered the first of its kind to recycle the big banks. The bank will donate at least 32 tonnes of old clothing to Melbourne-based Upparel for shredding and use to upholster products such as furniture and building materials. Its new line of uniforms is currently being rolled out to 7,000 staff, said Richard Fennell, director of consumer banking. “We predicted that there could be up to 10 kilograms of used uniform textiles per employee in stores and cabinets nationwide, so it’s important to us that nothing gets thrown away or sent home. ‘foreigner for processing and that this material be reused in a sustainable manner,’ he said. noted. Each kilogram of clothing diverted from landfills could save three to four kilograms of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The average person buys 27 kilograms of new clothes a year and gets rid of 23 kilograms, said Michael Elias, general manager of Upparel. He and Tina Elias founded the Melbourne-based company to prevent old clothes from going to landfill or overseas to unregulated and untraceable third world markets. “Everything we do is on land,” he said. Charities often have the first choice for whatever clothing Upparel takes possession of, but that would not be appropriate in the case of the bank, Elias said. Much has too many logos sewn in and has been worn well by staff members. The clothing will likely end up being used for building materials like insulation and underlayment, Elias said. It could also be used in Australia’s first 100% recycled folding children’s sofa. “The interior is made from recycled textiles and the exterior is made from plastic bottles,” Mr. Elias said. Bendigo Bank wants to achieve carbon neutrality this year and aims to buy 100% renewable energy by 2025. It also wants to reduce absolute emissions by 50% by 2030. Mr Elias said it was important that more companies make positive changes for the next generation. “It’s important that we do it because that stuff can have a cost. But if we don’t, the environmental cost will be much higher,” he said.


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