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Re-use and recycling
Secondhand goods sold by charity shops come from three sources :
- people taking goods direct to the charity shops
- people taking goods to those Re-use/recycling centres which include charity-owned containers for clothes etc (eg in some supermarket car parks)
- house-to-house collections by charities.
Whichever way they get to a shop, the goods raise valuable revenue for charities.
But we'd like to remind you that there is a second benefit from this - namely re-use and recycling. You're helping to save the planet by conserving finite resources :
- materials - plastic, metal, glass etc
- energy - coal, oil, gas etc
You're reducing pollution :
- air and water pollution
- solid pollution - eg reducing the space needed on landfill sites
Why re-use is better than just recycling
Re-use of clothes, books, crockery etc as finished/manufactured goods is much, much more environmentally friendly than just recycling the goods as raw materials - for instance using local council refuse/recycling collections.
For example, look at what happens when you get rid of a typical book :
- Re-use it by taking it to a charity shop for resale as a finished/manufactured item - It will raise 25 pence to £25 depending on what it is (on average around £1). This reflects the value of the printing, binding etc as well as the paper.
- Recycle it as raw materials - It will be disintegrated to liquid pulp and re-manufactured to make medium/low-grade paper (wasting lots of energy), and will be worth under one penny.
The big difference between these figures (of £1 and under 1p, ie over 100:1) gives you a rough idea of the environmental benefits of :
- re-use as finished/manufactured goods, compared with
- just recycling as raw materials.
www.rethinkrubbish.com * Extract from Web User magazine's review of the site :
|"... this site ... encourages you to reduce the amount of rubbish you dump and get into recycling. There's information and tips from local councils, retailers, celebrity patrons and the waste management industry
||on how to recycle your rubbish, and a 'bank locator' to find your nearest recycling facility. You can find out how to get rid of rubbish at home or at work and change your shopping patterns to cut down the amount of waste."
www.recycledproducts.org.uk Extract from their homepage :
|" This is your guide to products available in the UK which contain recycled materials. The database provides the most comprehensive listing of recycled products available.
|| It is compiled and maintained by Waste Watch ,
with support from Biffaward and the [Yellow Pages] Directory Recycling Scheme via the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme."
Note: There are no red double-arrow symbols next to the external links below.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Remit includes re-use/recycling (eg WEEE) and waste disposal
Environment Agency (EA)
Answers to DEFRA. Remit includes re-use/recycling and waste disposal.
Government A-Z above
Non-Government A-Z below
ENCAMS (Environmental Campaigns) [including recycling]
Runs various campaigns such as "Keep Britain Tidy"
Friends of the Earth (FoE)
Pressure group. Campaigns for the protection of the environment.
Encourages re-use/recycling, eg clothes, footwear - for instance via charity shops.
Includes over 250 local groups.
Includes: News, events, jobs, materials, directory, legislation, prices.
Head office in London SE1
Oakdene Hollins Ltd (OHL) - Research &
Includes free, downloadable copies of their government-funded research reports
on maximising reuse and recycling of UK clothing and textiles. The reports are
detailed, with useful statistics. They include analysis of house-to-house
Planet Pals (PP)
A high-quality US environmental website, designed for children and schools.
A good UK website on recycling. Featured on ITV's The Web Review.
Website produced by WRAP (see below).
Attractive design, offers practical advice, aimed at consumers
Recycled Products [for more details see the
Re-use and recycling page]
Compiled by the team that produces www.SafeFromScams.co.uk
Rethink Rubbish [for more details see the Re-use and recycling page]
Textile Recycling Association (TRA)
The UK trade body for textile recycling. Their members include three charities
(British Heart Foundation, Oxfam and Scope). Operates the Recyclatex scheme
WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Plan)
"WRAP helps individuals, businesses and local authorities to reduce waste and recycle
more, making better use of resources and helping to tackle climate change."
Also produces the RecycleNow website