KAMPALA, Uganda — Amidst a hungry hoard of giant Marabou storks, a lone reporter picks through a pile of trash. He finds there a collection of synthetic clothing from Britain, clothing environmentalists say disrupts and pollutes the city’s groundwater supply.
“Non-biodegradable clothes tamper with the soil’s productivity – they stop water from entering and the run-off hampers food production,” Joshua Zake, of Environmental Alert Uganda, told the BBC. “The stagnant water it creates helps the spread of diseases like malaria.”
In Britain, where fast-fashion is all the rage, unwanted clothes are either trashed or exported to countries like Uganda. They end up in Ugandan second-hand markets and in the country’s landfills.
Britain’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs plans to campaign against disposable wardrobes this year — emphasizing the negative environmental impacts such trends cause. The UK discards two million tons of clothing annually.
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