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Sustainable living: second-hand fashion, 3D wood and new EU regulations

Wood processing generates a significant amount of waste each year. In the USA, for example, 18 million tonnes of waste are produced annually, out of which over 12 million tonnes end up in landfills. However, researchers have discovered a way to repurpose some of this waste into “wooden ink”, which can be used to 3D print furniture, architectural elements, and other objects. The material processed in this way looks, feels, and smells like real wood.

The GlobalData report shows that used clothing sales have increased by 18% to USD 197 billion worldwide in the past year. It is expected that by 2025, used clothing sales will account for 10% of the global fashion market due to the rising cost of living and consumers’ focus on sustainability. Over half of all buyers have purchased second-hand items in the past year. The younger generation, in particular, is attracted to the convenience of buying second-hand items on digital platforms like Vinted, Depop, and ThredUp.

New, stricter regulations by the European Union require both the sending and receiving countries’ governments to approve waste shipments between EU countries. These regulations aim to facilitate and accelerate waste recycling procedures. Currently, only 46% of waste in the EU is recycled. Additionally, according to the United Nations, electronic waste is increasing five times faster than documented recycling. There are over 880 million unused electronic items in British homes alone.

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