Bipartisan effort aims to keep clothes out of landfills

By Ellie Borst, Rebekah Alvey | 05/16/2024 06:42 AM EDT

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate want to help the fashion industry invest in new recycling technologies. Will it work?

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

Bipartisan legislation from Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) would address the growing problem of clothing waste. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Major fashion and chemical companies are betting big on nascent technologies for clothes recycling, and some lawmakers are looking to help out — though big questions remain on whether textile recycling is even viable.

The bipartisan “Americas Act,” introduced earlier this year, would allocate more than $14 billion into textile recycling and reuse development.

The bill, introduced by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), would authorize $10 billion in preferential loans and $3 billion in grants, $1 billion in research and $100 million for a public education program.


Reps. María Salazar (R-Fla.) and Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) are leading the House companion.