The recent public response to plastic pollution, and banning or reducing single use plastics, has been phenomenal and has sent real signals for change.
This comes at an important time, too, not just because the oceans are choking on plastic but also because it is becoming harder to find outlets to recycle used plastics, and because the European Commission is driving more ambitious policy to ban single use plastics and significantly increase reuse.
However, it is not just plastic packaging that we need to find a way to avoid or reuse – it’s everything we use in our everyday lives from gadgets and furniture to clothing. About 40% of a country’s typical greenhouse gas emissions are related to manufacturing and distributing goods. We can help cut this down by avoiding unnecessary waste, and by making sure that all of the goods we have are:
- used for as long as possible, through good maintenance and repair
- used as much as possible, through selling or buying second hand and sharing or borrowing, and
- given a second chance through refurbishing and upcycling
Many of these activities we already carry out as part of our everyday lives – we might get shoes resoled, for example, rather than replacing them, or borrow a neighbour’s hedge cutter for our garden in summer. However, prioritising repair, borrowing or buying second hand / upcycled rather than new is still far from the norm.
The Community Reuse Network is delighted to help coordinate the third National Reuse Month in October this year in partnership with the three Regional Waste Authorities. The campaign, “At Home, At Work, At Play – Reuse Everyday” will show people and businesses how or where they might already reuse, and inspire them to go further in October. As part of this campaign, people will be encouraged to use the repairmystuff directory and hopefully be inspired to repair more often as part of their everyday lives.
This and other tips will be shared in the online toolkit, available via the website www.reusemonth.ie (due to go live early September) and in the form of a bookmark. A calendar of nation-wide events will also be published for anyone to attend and get involved. If you are running an event during October involving reuse activities, you are also invited to share it with [email protected] so it can be promoted as part of the national campaign.
The CRNI conference on the 27th October will also explore from all angles in a highly interactive way how to change habits to make reuse part of our everyday lives at home and in business. This will feature speakers from across retail, authorities and research institutes, including the EPA, Oxfam, IKEA, Hubbub, Zero Waste Scotland, Sustainable Consumption Institute, WRAP UK, Rediscovery Centre and more. Bookings are now open here.
CRNI is an all-island organisation working to build an Ireland where the word waste does not exist, and the entire community benefits from the environmental, social and economic benefits of reuse. To do this we support repair, reuse and recycling businesses, with a focus on social enterprises, to develop and grow as well as by working to bring repair, reuse and recycling into the mainstream through policy, research and awareness campaign