Connect with us

Featured

We throw away millions of items that could be repaired

Published

on

Fewer than one in 10 people in the UK attempt to repair or restore items if they are broken, according to new research.

Nearly 22 million small pieces of furniture, more than 11,000 bicycles and over 28 million toys are binned in the UK every year after they become damaged, a study by North London Waste Authority (NWLA) says.

This is despite 42% of those surveyed saying they would like to learn the skills to mend what they end up throwing away.

People sort through used clothing
Image:
Some of the clothing we throw away can still be used

Councillor Clyde Loakes, from the NWLA, told Sky News: “We’ve got ourselves into a bit of a rut and it’s not just a London thing, it’s not just a UK thing, it’s a global thing.

“We have this throwaway culture.

“We buy things for a certain period of time and when it breaks, because we’ve lost the skills to fix things, we just throw those items away and it’s just easier and more convenient to just go and buy a replacement.”

Clyde Loakes, councillor from the North London Waste Authority
Image:
Clyde Loakes says the throwaway culture is a global problem
People are throwing things away before trying to mend them
Image:
People are throwing too many things away before trying to mend them

The UK has had to double its domestic waste capacity since 2010 from 6.3 million tonnes to 13.5 million tonnes.

And the NWLA says our growing “throwaway” mentality is putting even more pressure on limited landfill and waste incinerator sites.

In London, a series of “repair cafes” have been set up to encourage people to think before they throw.

The clinics will give expert advice to people who want to learn how to repair their possessions, with a focus on textiles, furniture and bicycle repair.

In London they are struggling to find space for the increasing number of things we throw out
Image:
We are running out of space to put the broken things we throw away
A repair cafe in London is encouraging people to mend things rather than throw them away
Image:
A repair cafe in London is encouraging people to mend things, such as bicycles, rather than throwing them away

Sarah Klymkiw, from clothes waste charity Traid, is setting up a repair cafe that will focus on mending clothes.

She told Sky News: “Sewing skills have been squeezed out of school curricula, and basic sewing techniques are no longer passed down through generations.

“By teaching sewing repair skills to others, we can extend the wearable life of an item of clothing with all the positive environmental benefits that brings. It also helps save money too.”

:: Sky’s Ocean Rescue campaign encourages people to reduce their single-use plastics. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved at www.skyoceanrescue.com

Continue Reading
Advertisement Find your dream job

Trending