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The Power of Repairing and Reusing

In the United Kingdom, we have a big problem with electronic waste. We're the second-worst country when it comes to throwing away electronics, and we're on a path to being the worst! But don't panic, there's a solution right under our noses – fixing things and using them again!

Why do repair and reuse matter?

A "circular economy" is all about creating a system where materials are not wasted and nature is protected and regenerated. Keeping valuable resources in the loop through repairing, repurposing and reusing things is key to making this happen in the UK.

Last year, we launched The Wheel - Merton's waste reduction and circular economy hub - to help create a more circular Merton.

Saving Money: Fixing things can save you a lot of cash. When items are built to be repaired, you don't need to buy new things all the time. This means more money in your pocket!

Community Repair Events: People all over the UK are coming together to fix things in their communities where they're fixing items, learning new repair skills, making their communities stronger and even making friends. Our Repair Cafés and Preloved Studio events held at Canons House, Mitcham, demonstrate that many Merton residents want to repair things instead of throwing them away. It's better for people and the planet. Why not come along to the next one? Details can be found on our events page.

Creating Green Jobs: Repair and reuse can also lead to more jobs, especially green jobs, in areas like fixing appliances or selling second-hand items. These jobs help the environment and give people work.

We Need Rules

To make repair and reuse the norm, we need some rules from the government which is why The Wheel has signed The UK Repair & Reuse Declaration in conjunction with International Repair Day (21st October). Over 110 UK groups have signed up to a new Repair and Reuse Declaration calling for support from the UK government to move away from our throwaway economy.

Coordinated by The Restart Project, the Declaration is supported by more than 90 community repair groups (including us) alongside the Design Council, Keep Britain Tidy and other NGOs, and businesses including Back Market, Techbuyer and SUEZ recycling and Recovery UK. The declaration calls on the UK government to make it easier for people to repair products and pass them on to others for a second life. MPs are being invited to support the Declaration, which has already been endorsed by MPs from the Conservative, Labour and Lib Dems.

A Vision for the Future

Imagine a world where fixing things is a big business. Things are built to last, and companies help us keep our stuff for a long time. When something breaks, fixing it is the first choice, not throwing it away.

Affordable Repairs: If fixing things is cheaper through tax breaks and vouchers, more people will do it.

Repair Rules: Rules about fixing things should cover everything, make things last longer, and make fixing easier.

Helping You Choose: A guide can help you pick items that last longer, which encourages companies to make better products.

Reuse and Repair First: We need rules that say it's better to fix and reuse than to throw things away. This will help protect the environment.

Training New Fixers: We need more people who can fix things. Training programs, certificates, and apprenticeships can help with that.

Final thoughts...

The UK's problem with electronic waste can actually be a chance to make things better. Repairing and reusing things are the keys to a sustainable future which is why community events and government support can make the UK a leader in using things wisely, setting an example for the world.

Get in touch with us if you would like to develop or share your repair skills at our Repair Cafes in Mitcham. We would love to see you there!

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