This March, Scotland will promote a national week of swapping, sharing and donating, encouraging citizens to join in a reuse revolution. Pass it on Week begins on the 7th and continues through the 15th of March. The event is backed by Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) in an effort to get people to pass on things they no longer want to someone else, rather than throwing them away.
Locals are urged to donate items to charity, swap with friends and try out second hand goods, as part of a national week to minimize the amount of reusable materials sent to landfill. Zero Waste Scotland is also encouraging individuals, businesses, community groups, schools, colleges, charity and reuse shops to organize events such as swap shops, clothes swaps, repair workshops and upcycling sessions to help spread the word and give people a chance to get involved.
“Pass it on Week is all about getting the message out that if you’ve finished with something, then someone else will be able to make use of it, so rather than binning it, please pass it on,” said Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland. “The great thing is that there are loads of fun and social ways to do this. Swap shops are a great way to have a clear out and pick up things for free. Clothes swaps are a fun way to refresh your wardrobe, whether you’ve changed size and need to trade things that no longer fit, or want to swap some ill-advised impulse buys for things that are more your style.”
Encouraging greater reuse of items is a key part of Zero Waste Scotland’s work in creating a circular economy, where products and materials stay in the highest value state for as long as possible.
Easy ways to pass on items include donating things such as books, clothes, CDs and small household items to charity shops or friends and family. For larger items such as furniture there is a National reuse phone Scots can call where free pick-ups are arranged to send items to a local reuse organization.
Around half-a-million of sofas are sent to landfill each year in Scotland. However, around a fifth are currently reused which generates £1.5m to the Scottish economy through sales and employment and saves the equivalent of 4500 tons of carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of taking 750 cars off the roads, reports Zero Waste Scotland.
Pass it on Week is also about encouraging people to buy second-hand. There is a growing network of second hand stores that are Revolve-accredited, including Recyke-a-Bike in Stirling, which sells refurbished bikes. The Revolve mark is awarded to reuse stores that meet the highest quality standards to make the retail experience of buying second hand as good as buying new.
Zero Waste Scotland spearheaded a number of other nationwide, waste-minimizing initiatives including raising recycling awareness around packaging, promoting sustainable fashion with a fund to enable Scottish fashion designers to create zero-waste, closed-loop clothing and apparel ranges, turning whiskey into biofuel and using food waste to construct athletic venues.