In the Loop logo

Reduce the amount of waste we make

Reuse by sharing and upcycling

Repair instead of throwing stuff away

Recycle everything fully

Do you ever wonder what happens to the stuff you recycle at home?

Where does it go? Does it actually get recycled?

The answer is yes! All of these items are part of a big loop, meaning they can be recycled again and again. Recycling is a vital part of the circular economy which is about reducing waste by keeping things in use as long as possible. When you recycle your stuff in the correct bin at home, you’re part of the circular economy and #InTheLoop.




a variety of glass bottles and glass jars on a purple & pink gradient background


Glass can be recycled over and over again, part of a recycled bottle or jar could be 45 years old.

a variety of glass bottles and glass jars on a purple & pink gradient background


An average family will throw away 6 trees worth of paper every year. It takes just 7 days to recycle a newspaper into a new one.

a variety of glass bottles and glass jars on a purple & pink gradient background


50% of all food waste is still edible. It takes a hundred buckets of water to create just 1 loaf of bread, and 6 buckets to grow one potato.

a variety of glass bottles and glass jars on a purple & pink gradient background


Cardboard can be recycled 25 times. Keep your pizza and delivery boxes in the loop by putting them in your paper and card bin.

a variety of glass bottles and glass jars on a purple & pink gradient background


An aluminium drinks can gets recycled and back on the shelves in just 6 weeks and part of the can could be 22 years old.

a variety of glass bottles and glass jars on a purple & pink gradient background


Recycling steel reduces CO2 emissions by 80%, it’s infinitely recyclable so can be melted down and reused over and over.


What is the circular economy?

Never heard of the phrase? You’re not alone, 9 in 10 adults don’t know what the circular economy is. Although the phrase might be new, you’re probably familiar with the concept. A circular economy focuses on reducing the amount of waste we produce by repairing and reusing to get the maximum value out of everything we buy and use, finally recycling everything fully.

Why is the circular economy important?

We are using more resources than the Earth can replenish and soon we’re going to run out. The way we consume isn’t sustainable, every year we use up 1.8 earths worth of resources. We must change how we think about waste to protect the planet’s future.

The current economy is linear, we take things from the Earth, make things and throw them away. The circular economy is designed to reduce consumption and waste, understanding that everything we use has value and extracting the full value from everything.

How can the circular economy benefit me?

As well as helping create a healthy more sustainable place to live, the circular economy can benefit you financially. Reducing how much we buy, choosing more sustainable products or shopping pre-owned can lead to big savings. Repairing things and using things to the maximum is going to save you money.

What is Greater Manchester doing to be part of the circular economy?

GM Green City is Greater Manchester’s plan to combat climate change and achieve net carbon by 2038. It focuses on making better choices, investing in and embracing more sustainable businesses, lives and lifestyles.

According to a 2022 study by WRAP, the Northwest has the second highest number of jobs within the circular economy and that figure will continue to grow.

How can I get in the loop?

If you recycle, donate unwanted things to charity or have ever tried to fix something before throwing it away, you’ve contributed to the circular economy.

If we all make small changes, we have the power to make a big difference:

  • Recycle as much as possible
  • Reduce the amount of food you waste – check out the BKER page for help
  • Choose reusable products over single use
  • Cut down the amount of plastics you use
  • Look at alternatives to purchasing items such as renting or buying pre-loved

We’ve put together a list of schemes and business that will help you stay in the loop.


image of empty plastic bottle
What happens to my plastic

Ever wondered what happens to all the plastic that goes in your recycling bin? Also, why some plastics cannot be recycled.

sad woman looking at broken microwave in kitchen
Microwave sparking? This cheap and easy fix could save you buying a new one

Be in the loop by repairing instead of throwing away. Electronic waste is a huge problem in the UK, with so many appliances being thrown away before they’re truly broken.

Woman renewing a piece of wooden furniture by sanding it down
Beginners guide to upcycling furniture

Hannah from Tread Softly transforms unwanted furniture into beautiful one of a kind pieces.  Hannah shares her upcycling tips with us on how to get started.

Sustainable lifestyle. Zero waste, plastic free shopping concept. Cotton bags, glass jar, bottle, metal cup, straws for drinking, bamboo cutlery and boxes on green background
Six simple, sustainable swaps that could save you £1670 a year

Life is getting more expensive by the minute and we’re all looking for ways to increase the cash in our pockets. There are huge savings to be made by investing in reusable and sustainable versions of things you use everyday.

graphic showing a Bokashi bin with the text: £10 OFF - Space Saving Bokashi Bin - Perfect for houseplants!
Composting in Small Spaces

We are supporting the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub’s celebrations for International Day for Older Persons. Sow the City, who we are working with on our composting projects, have written this blog about how composting can be done in small spaces, when you don’t have access to a large open space.