We Bruneians are generally an altruistic bunch. Whenever we see others facing difficulties, we are quick to lend a helping hand.
While making monetary donation is easy – there are a few ways to channel the money to the underprivileged – there is currently no infrastructure to make it easy to donate pre-loved items such as clothes. As a result, the public has no way of maximising their charity.
In countries such as Singapore, there are donation bins stationed across the city state for those seeking to donate their pre-loved clothes. The items are then distributed to the needy or resold with proceeds invested in various non-governmental organisations.
Perhaps it is time for the local authorities to consider introducing such donation bins throughout the country, strategically placing them in high-density areas, to ease the process of donation. This way, clothes will have a second chance at being valued and used, rather than what we tend to do now – throwing them away.
More importantly, these textile bins could help the country fulfil its pledge to the Paris Agreement of reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent in 10 years.
To extrapolate the data from the United States to Brunei, some 15 million kilogrammes of clothes are being thrown out every year. If what studies have shown is true, that re-using one kilogramme of clothing can reduce 25 kilogrammes of CO2 emissions, Brunei could potentially be looking at slashing 375 million kilogrammes of carbon emissions per year.
As such, I call on the authorities to consider introducing these donation bins to the country, to encourage the public to be charitable while working towards carbon neutrality by 2050.