Re-use is the way forward

Mobile phones
Mobile phones

The Scottish Government is looking at ways of challenging you to ‘‘MakeThingsLast’’ with a social media campaign to promote ways of repairing, reusing and remanufacturing.

There are two good reasons for this - firstly to save money and secondly to reduce waste.

Following the success of 
reducing carrier bag usage by introduction of a 5p charge, the government is now keen to encourage thriftiness which might have an environmental impact.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “I wonder how many people realise that by simply hiring a kilt or a dress to attend a wedding they are already helping to keep valuable materials circulating around our economy?”

In Scotland the cost of unused clothing is said to be £2.5 billion. In the UK a household owns about £4000 of clothes and about a third of those have not been worn for at least a year.

The Minister continued: “A circular economy is where we keep products for as long as possible, and these are then reused, refurbished or taken apart to make new products.

‘‘This would be good for the environment, good for the economy and and a moral imperative. It will create jobs , improve our quality of life and just makes good sense.”

In the UK 93 per cent of adults own a mobile phone. On average people upgrade their phone every 18 months making the average lifetime of a mobile phone about 2-3 years.

If phones were easier to repair and upgrade that could be increased. A take-back scheme for parts being replaced would mean that more ‘precious metals’ could be recovered.