Discarded school uniforms containing high proportions of polyester sent to landfill each year


New analysis reveals that parents in Wales are throwing away 40,000 wearable school uniforms each year because they have been outgrown.

With the average school uniform consisting of 32 percent polyester, or similar synthetic fibres, that’s the equivalent of 10 tonnes of plastic going to landfill each year, making up 3 percent of the 354 tonnes of uniform discarded annually across the UK.

To put this into perspective, leading name label manufacturer, My Nametags, commissioned a series of images demonstrating the waste caused by school uniforms alone in each region of the UK. Each image depicts the amount of school uniform thrown away alongside an iconic local landmark, including the Principality Stadium in Wales.

Wales – 40,000 school uniforms thrown away per year, equating to almost 10 tonnes of plastic

The South – 630,000 school uniforms thrown away per year, equating to 157 tonnes of plastic

The North – 350,000 school uniforms thrown away per year, equating to 87 tonnes of plastic

The Midlands – 300,000 school uniforms thrown away per year, equating to 74 tonnes of plastic

Scotland – 100,000 school uniforms thrown away per year, equating to almost 25 tonnes of plastic

Lars B. Andersen, Managing Director at My Nametags, comments: “Everyday at My Nametags we help parents ensure that their children don’t lose their school uniform and we were interested to see what happens to this school uniform once it had been outgrown.

“It was shocking to find that the school uniform is needlessly thrown away, despite parents being careful to ensure it doesn’t get lost. With more and more clothing being made from synthetic fibres including plastic, such as polyester, this throwaway attitude to children’s clothes is having a significant impact on the environment.

“To put this waste problem into perspective we have calculated what it would look like stacked up against one of Wales’ most recognisable landmarks, the Principality Stadium, which we hope will make everyone think twice before needlessly throwing away items of clothing. We have also gathered our top tips to help families live more sustainably throughout the school year.

Visit the My Nametags website to find out how you can be more sustainable this school year.


The number of wearable school uniforms thrown away each year was calculated using research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of My Nametags amongst 2,000 UK parents. Parents were asked how often they replace their child’s school uniform because it has been outgrown and what they do with outgrown uniform.

The amount of plastic waste these binned uniforms contributes to landfill was calculated using the average polyester content (32 percent) of a boys’ school uniform (aged 10) from leading supermarket brands consisting of polo shirt, sweatshirt, and trousers.

For more information visit: https://www.mynametags.com


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