Scotland launches #MakeThingsLast campaign to reduce waste

Scotland’s environment secretary has challenged the nation to #MakeThingsLast with the launch of a social media engagement campaign to promote repairing, reusing and remanufacturing as part of a wider circular economy drive

Following on from the success of the 5p single-use carrier bag charge, Scotland’s environment secretary Richard Lochhead wants to know what the public believe could be the next big thing to help reduce waste and #MakeThingsLast.

Launching the campaign in Edinburgh in early June, Lochhead said: “I wonder how many people realise that by simply hiring a kilt or a dress to attend a wedding, they are already helping to keep valuable materials circulating around our economy.

“A circular economy is where we keep products in use for as long as possible; and reused, refurbished or taken apart to make new products at the end of their initial life.

“How often do you buy new clothes for a special event that only get worn once? How many DIYers buy expensive power tools for a single task then leave them to gather dust in the garden shed? How many parents resort to buying brand new toys when something gets broken rather than repairing it?

“That’s why we’re here today – to ask people to take up our #MakeThingsLast challenge and think of ways in which they can contribute towards a more circular economy for Scotland.

“Creating a more circular economy is good for the environment, good for the economy and like our action on climate change, a moral imperative.”

“There are so many innovations to help us make better use of our resources, save money and support local jobs. For example, in Edinburgh there is a tool library where you can rent out a power tool for work around the house, and then return it when you’ve finished. In Glasgow there’s a studio that offers 3D printing, which could be the future when it comes to repairing broken toys or household items.”

Action to create a more circular economy starts with product design, which influences how products are manufactured and used – as well as how long they last and scope for repair, reuse and recycling. Combining these approaches helps to keep products in use for longer – making better use of the material, labour, energy and capital that went into their production.

Lochhead added: “Scotland is already recognised internationally as a leader in the movement towards becoming a circular economy. Our Scottish Institute for Remanufacture is the first of its kind in Europe and one of only four in the world alongside New York, Singapore and Beijing. And we are exploring the opportunities for a deposit return system in Scotland. But the new ideas will come from the public and from our entrepreneurs.”

“Creating a more circular economy is good for the environment, good for the economy and like our action on climate change, a moral imperative – it will create jobs in our communities, improve our quality of life, and just makes good sense.”

Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland said: “The #MakeThingsLast campaign is about engaging everyone in Scotland in finding a solution to a common problem we all share – how do we end our throwaway culture and make the most of what we already have?

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“As part of the campaign, Zero Waste Scotland plans to showcase some great examples from around the country, including 3D printing and tool sharing libraries, which have the potential to transform our society.

“We want you to share your views on these ideas, tell us your own, and get involved in the conversation. Keep up-to-date with the latest from this four-week campaign on Zero Waste Scotland’s Facebook page, or on Twitter using #MakeThingsLast.

“At the end of this campaign, your views could contribute to the development of a roadmap towards a circular economy in Scotland. This could see Scotland adopt more game changing policies and initiatives – like our recent adoption of a charge for single-use carrier bags. These changes will help shape our future society, ensuring it’s sustainable for generations to come.”

First published by ClickGreen