SUEZ has launched the third report, “Re-use – seizing the opportunity”, in a series on reuse and repair, which examines the potential benefits that reuse could deliver to the UK’s green economy if it becomes more mainstream.
The report also looks at the “scale of the opportunity being missed” for repair and reuse in the UK.
SUEZ outlines in the report how it thinks the UK needs to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, by developing a more competitive and accessible reuse retail market that represents a viable alternative to buying new.
By embedding reuse and repair at the fore of a more circular economy, we have the potential to create thousands of green jobs.
For local communities, SUEZ says reuse can provide access to quality preloved goods at more affordable prices and create skilled local jobs. SUEZ estimates that if every person had one item repaired every year, this would require 40,000 jobs across the country.
SUEZ also estimates that there are nearly 13 million items per year that the sector is missing the opportunity to put back into use, and that more than 35,500 items that could be reused are currently disposed of every day at household waste recycling centres.
In the report, SUEZ calls for government policy to set an “ambitious agenda” with clear targets and timescales to give direction to both industry and the value chain. With this in place, SUEZ says it estimates that by 2028, the repair and reuse sector has the potential to manage more than 15 million items and generate sales revenues of over £63 million per year.
Some of the key recommendations in the report include government setting clear targets and a requirement to collect and report key data along the value chain and councils incorporating reuse and repair within an authority’s organisational or resources and waste strategy.
This report is a call to action to government and local authorities.
Commenting on the new report, Sarah Ottaway, Sustainability and Social Value Lead at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, said: “This report is a call to action to government and local authorities to recognise the significant opportunities for reuse and repair and accelerate efforts to make it a more mainstream activity.
“Reuse and repair activities already create huge benefits in a variety of ways both environmentally and economically, and the potential social value created throughout the process is also significant.
“By embedding reuse and repair at the fore of a more circular economy, we have the potential to create thousands of green jobs and make significant carbon savings which would contribute to the UK’s net zero target.”
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