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Scotland’s circular economy reaches re-use milestone

Scotland’s re-use revolution is driving forward, with 100 quality-certified re-use stores and three flagship superstore ‘hubs’ now in operation, according to Scottish Government-funded circular economy group Zero Waste Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham, announced the “landmark” progress on 8 August, during a visit to Scotland’s first re-use hub, Blythswood Care in Dingwall.

Scotland now has three large-scale re-use superstores: Blythswood Care in Dingwall, the Edinburgh Remakery, and its first online hub, ReStyle Argyll in Argyll and Bute – which received its formal launch today. These largescale hubs have big ambitions to present re-use as a quality, attractive and good value shopping experience for customers, and drive up rates of re-use and economies of scale for retailers.

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Roseanna Cunningham at Blythswood Care in Dingwall.

Speaking at the announcement, Ms Cunningham said:
“Re-use is one of the smartest ways in which we can keep products and materials out of landfill and in high-value use for longer. In Scotland we are working towards ambitious targets on waste, with no more than 5% of all waste to go to landfill and 70% of waste recycled or prepared for reuse by 2025.

“Re-use and repair superstores like Blythswood Care’s here in the Highlands, and ReStyle Argyll in Argyll, are at the forefront of those ambitions by making it easier for people to donate and shop for second-hand items. By shopping at these hubs, and other stores across Scotland with the Revolve logo, customers can be confident they have access to high-quality products which offer good value and support local communities through jobs and volunteering opportunities.”

Every year, thousands of re-usable items needlessly end up in landfill in Scotland, including around 125,000 sofas and around 365,000 TVs. By choosing to buy from or donate to re-use stores people can help keep valuable products and materials in use for longer – saving money, supporting local communities, and protecting the environment in the process.

The newest addition to Scotland’s re-use hubs is just one of a series of innovative ways the country is embracing re-use. Announced for the first time today, a total of 100 individual stores across Scotland are now certified with the national Revolve standard. The quality kitemark lets shoppers know they are buying high-quality goods from a reputable retailer and can expect an excellent customer experience.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s Re-use Line has just recorded its highest ever number of donations in a single month. The phone and online service, through which people in Scotland can have unwanted furniture and white goods collected for re-use for free, achieved a record high of 928 items – or 30 tonnes of household goods – referred in July.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:
“Scotland has a strong profile as a circular economy leader and has achieved global recognition for its vision and achievements to date – including an international Circulars Award presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year.

“It’s clear both consumers and businesses are waking up to the scale of opportunity in re-use and repair, as shown by Scotland’s first re-use hub in Dingwall, which is going from strength-to-strength, and the exciting latest hub, ReStyle Argyll, which I’m sure will attract lots of customers with its innovative online ordering system. The extent to which the Revolve brand has grown – with over 100 stores now certified, including the first private sector organisations earlier this year – clearly demonstrates strong support for a more sustainable, more circular economy in Scotland.”

Ian Matheson, Head of Operations, Blythswood Care, said:
“Blythswood is delighted to be part of such a landmark moment for Scotland’s circular economy. This milestone demonstrates the number and quality of Revolve-certified stores with a range of attractive, good value pre-loved goods available to the Scottish public.

“Through its re-use businesses selling books, bric-a-brac, clothing, furniture, rugs and electrical items, Blythswood Care and other third sector organisations in the Highlands contribute to carbon savings of over 10,000 tonnes a year. The Dingwall store alone has already created five jobs and sold more than 70,000 items since it opened two years ago. We’re extremely proud of this legacy, it’s fantastic that it’s contributing to Scotland’s circular economy success story.”

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