Starting in Dingwall...

Zero Waste Scotland has launched the first of its national programme of re-use 'hubs': "unique new shopping experiences intended to transform the scale and economic clout of re-use retail in Scotland".

Blythswood Care's Dingwall Superstore secured funding and support from Zero Waste Scotland after a nationwide call last year for bids from private, third and public sector groups to team up on major joint retail initiatives.

Blythswood has teamed up with re-use businesses from around Scotland to offer customers a choice of goods from furniture and kitchen appliances, carpets and rugs, bric a brac, toys, clothes (including a forthcoming bridal suite), prams and baby goods.

There is also a repair club with staff demonstrating sewing skills and furniture repairs to the general public.

Through their re-use businesses selling books, clothing, furniture and electrical items across the Highlands, Blythswood and other third sector organisations are already reported to contribute to carbon savings of over 7,500 tonnes annually.

James Campbell, chief executive of Blythswood Care, said: "This venture demonstrates the best of re-use and repair in Scotland and so offers a great service to Dingwall and far beyond."

... the Circular Economy vision from Zero Waste Scotland

Louise McGregor, head of Circular Economy, Zero Waste Scotland, said: "Encouraging re-use has a key role to play for Scotland's economy and environment, helping us move away from the model of buying items and casting them aside after little use. Building the sector in Scotland will be essential in preventing perfectly usable items from going to landfill, benefiting the environment, and relieving pressure on scarce raw materials. There is also potential for local job creation.

"Many items, which could be used by someone else, currently go to landfill. Thousands of re-usable items end up there every year, including 304,000 individual three-seater sofas and 151,000 washing machines," added McGregor.

"A 10% increase in re-use of items in the Highlands that currently end up in landfill, would generate almost £50,000 for re-use organisations in the Highlands and carbon savings equivalent to taking over 300 cars off the road," she explained. "We will be rolling out more superstores across Scotland this year, aiming to take the re-use sector to the next level, and make it a big player in Scotland's retail sector."

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