We’ve put together a list of local, sustainable businesses that are in the loop and contributing to a circular economy. We hope these examples will inspire you to be in the loop and access some of the brilliant schemes and businesses that are happening in Greater Manchester.
Open Kitchen create meals from food that would have been wasted, even though it’s perfectly edible. The social enterprise intercepts food that has been over produced or deemed too wonky for supermarket shelves and saves it from the bin. Their chefs create seasonal and fresh food at two cafes in Greater Manchester. Open Kitchen also offer catering so you can enjoy delicious and sustainable food at your next event.
The UK wastes 9.5 million tonnes of food every year, 70% of which could have been eaten. With so many people in the UK struggling with food scarcity, it’s more important than ever to Buy, Keep, Eat, Repeat (link to BKER page in text)
Founded in Stockpot in 2007, the brand has become a titan of second-hand tech. Music Magpie buy used phones from individuals, refurbish them, and put them up for sale and to rent. The company keeps tech in the loop as long as possible, a brilliant example of the circular economy benefiting customers and reducing electronic-waste (e-waste). It’s not just phones and laptops, you can even sell them CDs and books.
The UK is one of the highest produces of e-waste, with the average person wasting 23.9 kg every year. E-waste contains precious metals that are essential to make more electronics. Many of these metals are finite meaning they will run out if we don’t reuse them. You can recycle small electricals at the recycling centre, batteries at most supermarkets and you can return your appliance to the shop you bought it from for them to recycle.
With 2 zero waste shops in Greater Manchester, Lentils and Lather are helping residents to reduce unnecessary packaging and go plastic free. Their shops stock everything from fresh produce, to cleaning products and spices. Zero waste shopping couldn’t be easier, you take your own pots, jars, and tubs along to the shop, weigh them, fill with goodies and pay for the weight.
We all know plastic is a huge problem, with the average family throwing away 66 pieces of plastic every week. Even if you can’t access a zero waste shop, small changes like choosing the glass jar instead of a squeezy bottle or buying loose fruit and veg instead of using the disposable bags (you’ll wash it anyway!) will add up and make a difference.
Based in Stretford, Stitched Up are a not-for-profit that promotes sustainable fashion. They offer a range of courses for beginners interested in learning to sew, repair and make their own clothes. Their regular ‘clothes swap’ events promote keeping clothing in the loop for as long as possible.
With our UK wardrobes hiding £30 million worth of clothes that have never been worn, we’re clearly buying much more than we need. Fast fashion is hugely destructive, emissions from the fashion industry are higher than all international flights and shipping combined.
Giggacycle collect computers and laptops and recycle them safely. Working with businesses and individuals, they collect items for free and ensure all personal data is wiped. The equipment is then refurbished and sold. Whatever can’t be refurbished is recycled so the components can be used again. They even offer cashback so you get money for the recycled stuff.
The average Greater Manchester home hides nearly 20 unused electrical items. E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK, and £370 million per year is lost when the precious materials like gold and copper are not recycled.
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