There are 880,000 students in Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary schools. Children can quickly outgrow their school uniforms - and this is usually before the uniforms are worn out (especially under pandemics as physical classes are reduced).
It is estimated that students change their uniforms at least every 1-2 years. While each student would have 6 to 8 sets of uniforms in average including summer, winter, and sports uniforms, it is estimated that around 4 million pieces of uniforms are replaced every year.
Accordingly, the carbon dioxide emitted each year for replacing uniforms for Hong Kong students is equivalent to that of a car travelling 1,200 times around the earth, and the water used in the process is enough for all Hong Kong citizens to drink for 3 years. Yet, there are some issues on uniform recycling:
1. The current “Community Used Clothes Recycling Bank Scheme” and second-hand fashion shop does not accept donation of uniform
2. Some schools do not have sufficient manpower to run the uniforms recycling campaign.
3. While there may be uniform recycling program, around 30% of the donated uniforms cannot be reused due to poor quality.