Goondiwindi Cotton is tackling textile waste by testing whether it can improve soil health by returning cotton waste to the ground. Goondiwindi Cotton owner, Sam Coulton’s farm “Alcheringa”, the site of the Goondiwindi Circular Cotton Project Trial had its first two tonnes of cotton waste spread on the morning of June 16. With the assistance of Cotton Research and Development Corporation’s soil scientist Dr Oliver Knox, the Trial endeavours to see cotton waste “break down the soil, increasing microbial activity, locking in carbon and improving the soil’s ability to hold moisture.” (Courtesy of Goondiwindi Cotton). Results from the first phase of the Trial, which is also in partnership with the Queensland Government, Goondiwindi Cotton, Worn Up, Sheridan, and Cotton Australia, showed that in general, microbial activity had risen, cotton seeds germinated equally well in soil with and without cotton waste, and even the tightest weave of cotton broke down in the soil within 24 weeks. The initiative, if successful, will not only ensure healthier soil for Australian cotton fields, but will also contribute significantly to the reduction in cotton waste, with Sam Coulton stating that “we should be part of the solution for taking cotton right back through the system. We grow it here and we should be able to bury it here.”
The Morgan + English team were very pleased to have been able to work with Goondiwindi Cotton to help make this incredible initiative happen. This initiative should encourage other businesses to consider how their operations can help create a sustainable future.