The Scrapstore attended the WRAP Resources Conference on the Circular Economy in Hatfields, London on Tuesday 18th November. Thank you WRAP for having us.
The ideas and debate about a circular (sustainable) economy was interesting and very relevant to our mission here at the Scrapstore! - To artfully re-use things that would otherwise be disposed of...
We enjoyed hearing about a variety of intellectual and practical initiatives which WRAP has implemented or influenced in order to reduce waste in industry through working in partnership with governments, business, communities and innovators. We particularly enjoyed the debate facilitated by James Murray, the founding editor of Business Green with a variety of 'green' innovators on the panel:
Fiona Disengi from Rentez-Vous,
Sean Feeney, CEO of Environcom,
Alan Knight OBE, MD for Corporate Responsibility at ArcelorMittal,
Carmel McQuaid, Head of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer,
Baroness Scott of Needham Market,
Dr Liz Goodwin, the CEO of WRAP.
The key messages we took away from the event are:
1. Consume less.
2. Make and mend rather than spend.
3. Waste less food: the shocking estimate is that at least 15 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK each year, and Baroness Scott suggested that the amount of food wasted in the developed world is equal to total food production in Sub-Saharan Africa.
4. Buy better quality goods that can be repaired rather than disposed of when they go wrong.
5. Work needs to be done to make sustainable lifestyles more attractive.
6. Consumer desire is a big barrier to business becoming more sustainable.
...and particularly pertinent points for the Scrapstore:
7. It is what we do with something when we have finished with it that turns it into waste. Putting steps into place to re-use things is important. - We have some ideas and a great deal of experience with this!
8. Build reward into reuse. Again, we relate to this at the Scrapstore - our reward is something beautiful made out of 'junk'.
9. How about focusing on experience rather than ownership? - Enjoy the experience of making something!
10. Logistics can prevent businesses from being more environmentally friendly: the Scrapstore can collect from businesses all around London who wish to donate clean, re-useable materials for our members' projects.