Scots get behind European action to increase re-use

Over 100 actions aiming to reduce waste are taking place across Scotland as part of European Week for Waste Reduction (16 – 24 November). 

22 Nov 13

The annual week, which delivered in Scotland by Zero Waste Scotland, this year focuses on what people can do to prolong the life of goods and their materials and lessen the impact of a throwaway culture.

As part of the week, Edinburgh Bike Station, which is accredited by Revolve, Scotland’s national re-use standard, has announced plans for a new initiative to re-use children’s bikes.  The project will see children’s bikes which have been donated to the shop refurbished into balance bike’s which help teach children to cycle, which will then be donated to nurseries in the capital. 

Calum Macaulay (4), Elsie Fraser (3), Gabriel Pechenik Jowers (4) and Lily Grace Jones (4) from Kidzcare Nursery helped to launch the project today at Edinburgh Bike Station

Iain Gulland, Director, Zero Waste Scotland said:

“It’s great to see people and organisations across Scotland joining in in this European initiative and helping us to promote re-use.

“We’ve already done some great work in the sector through Revolve, raising awareness of the re-use sector and increasing shoppers’ confidence in buying previously-owned goods.  

“However there’s lots more we can do – recent research has found that if people in Scotland donated their old t-shirts, sofas and washing machines for re-use more regularly than we currently do, we could save millions for our economy and as well as significant CO2 emissions each year.”

Steve Hynd, Edinburgh Bike Station said:

“The Balance Bike Project is a completely new way of putting donated children’s bikes back into use.

“We hope that some of the work in preparing and painting the bikes will be done through the Bike Station’s partnership with prisons. We feel that putting these balance bikes into Edinburgh nurseries will contribute to developing a new generation of Edinburgh cyclists.”

Roksan Hur, Kidzcare Nursery said:

"This is really exciting project from the Edinburgh Bike Station, and we're delighted to have the opportunity to be involved in it.  Balance bikes are a great way for children to learn to cycle without stabilisers, and refurbishing unwanted bikes gives them a new lease of life and will help the environment."

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

“If everyone in the world used the same amount of resources as an average European we would need three planets to sustain us. We have set ambitious targets to cut all waste in Scotland by 7% by 2017 and 15% by 2025.
“The challenge is to minimise the resources we need to deliver the quality of life we have come to expect, while reaping the economic benefits. Our Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources action plan encourages people to save money by wasting less and reusing more - helping to preserve our environment for ourselves and for future generations.
“By taking part in this European initiative, organisations across Scotland can highlight how we can all make better use of our resources.”

A whole host of organisations are helping to spread the message this week, including the NHS who are donating warm winter clothing to local homeless charities, Young Scot who are offering reward points to members who get involved in re-use activities, and Playbusters who are running a series of events in Glasgow including using old shoes as plant pots for garlic.  A number of swap shops, craft sessions and cookery classes are also taking place.

View Zero Waste Scotland’s re-use infographic.

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