Public appetite for reuse ‘growing’, FCC finds

EXCLUSIVE: Almost 80% of people agree that all household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) should have a charity reuse shop nearby or on site, research commissioned by FCC Environment shows.

One of FCC's shops in Suffolk diverted almost 350 tonnes of material to reuse in a year

Research company YouGov surveyed 2,035 adults online from 4-5 August on behalf of the waste management company, which previously polled the public about reuse in 2020.

FCC’s data suggests that the number of respondents who have purchased an item at a reuse shop when visiting an HWRC has risen when compared to two years ago.

Additionally, 73% of the respondents who do not have access to a reuse shop said they would donate to their HWRC if it had one nearby or onsite.

And, almost 60% of people said they would be more likely to donate than throw away their good quality second-hand items if they knew they would be resold at a reuse shop, the survey also found.

Repair

Repair was another of the survey’s central themes, with the research finding that almost two thirds (64%) of people said they would prefer to be shown how to repair their broken item at their local HWRC.

Furthermore, 81% of people believe companies and local authorities should be encouraging people to fix their broken items.

Demand

Commenting on the findings, FCC Environment’s head of operations, Steve Longdon, said: “At FCC Environment, we run nine reuse shops across the country with our charity and local authority partners and – despite the various Covid-19 lockdowns over the past two years – we’ve continued to see demand for our reuse shops increase.

Steve Longdon, FCC Environment’s head of operations

“Just one of our shops in Suffolk, for example, diverted almost 350 tonnes of material to reuse between March 2021 and February 2022.

“The public’s interest in reuse is reflected in our research findings, with almost two thirds of people who have a reuse shop at their local HWRC saying they visit at least once a year.”

According to the survey, 24% of respondents said that books are their most popular item to buy at their local reuse shop. Some of the other favourites were clothes (19%), furniture (16%) and household items such as chinaware (15%).

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