David’s PhD research at UC focuses on developing robots that can efficiently recycle clothing – as this is one of the largest contributors to landfill. Globally we produce about 80 billion new pieces of clothing annually. In Australia, we currently send 85% of the textiles we buy to landfill every year. Alarmingly, clothes with synthetic fibres are essentially made from plastics based on petroleum, meaning they could take up to a thousand years to biodegrade. If that wasn’t bad enough, they also release micro plastic fibres when washed.