Proposals to tax clothing have been welcomed by politicians who say fashion is having a “hugely detrimental” impact on the environment.

A report published today by an environmental audit committee- a group of cross party MPs – has said a penny tax should be levied on items of clothing sold by British retailers.

The report said these measures would raise £35 million to recycle clothing and tackle waste in the fashion industry.

According to the report, retailers in the UK create a million tonnes of waste every year – higher than any other country in Europe.

Leonie Cooper, London Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth, welcomed the report.

Ms Cooper said: “This report is a wake-up call for major retailers to provide the means for their customers to recycle old and unwanted clothing.

"In our community, we are seeing the scourge of clothes being dumped on our streets, where these could otherwise either be donated or repurposed.

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“There is every chance this is contributing to the significant number of fly-tipping incidents in Merton and Wandsworth, of which there were 8878 and 5000 respectively, reported between 2017 and 2018 alone.

“As members of the community, we have a responsibility to ensure our public realm is kept clean, but today’s findings show that fashion retailers also have a substantial role to play.

Research from Ms Cooper in 2018 revealed that London accounts for more than a third of fly-tipping in England.

The cost of investigations into fly-tipping and the disposal of illegal rubbish in London totalled at £18.4 million in 2016.

Ms Cooper added: “That’s why I’m working with local authorities from across London, holding a seminar at City Hall in March, to share best practice to tackle the scourge of mess on our streets.

“It is vital that our fashion and retail industry swiftly acts upon this wake-up call.”