Brits throwing away 70 million homeware items each year | The Sun

BRITS throw away a collective 70 million homeware items each year – which could have been donated, sold or repurposed.

Research of 2,000 adults found 29% admit to throwing their homewares in the bin, rather than finding a way to avoid them going to landfill.

And those aged 18 to 35 were most guilty of this (40%), compared to just 13% of those aged over 65.

The survey also revealed 32% admit to not knowing where to start when it comes to finding a new home for such belongings, while 45% choose not to donate because they’re not sure anyone else would even want them. 

However, 77% hate the thought of throwing anything away, 49% don’t see "fast homeware" as an issue, with only 39% viewing it as an environmental problem as much as fast fashion.

Only 6% were more concerned about fast homewares than clothes.

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The study also found 35% of those who throw out homeware that still functioned would do so if their tastes had changed.

And a quarter would do it if they found their life circumstances had changed, such as downsizing, with a further 24% even considering binning an unwanted gift.

The research was commissioned by British pottery brand Denby as part of its Reloved campaign, helping the nation to find ways to re-use, re-purpose and re-love its homewares.

As part of the campaign, launched in partnership with the housing and homelessness charity Shelter, this autumn people are encouraged to donate pre-loved tableware to charity that no longer meets their needs, instead of letting it go to landfill.

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On average, adults reckon they’ve got goods worth £91.85 sitting around rarely being used, and across the UK adult population, that adds up to more than £477 million in profit or money that could have gone to good causes.

When it comes to repurposing existing homeware items, a third are open to giving it a go to extend the life of their belongings.

Of those who don’t want to give it a try, 38% don’t feel they have the skill or tools to undertake these types of projects and a third don’t think they’re creative enough.

Denby has partnered with broadcaster Miquita Oliver to help show people how to avoid their items going to landfill with re-loving tips and ideas.

Miquita said: “We all have items we’ve bought which we perhaps don’t need or want anymore, but our first port of call for these shouldn’t be the bin.

“There are so many ways to make sure we’re extending the life of our homewares, from repurposing pieces you love – to finding new creative uses for broken items.

“And of course, there’s donating good quality items to a charity like Shelter, where people can find pieces to re-love and raise money for an important cause in the process.”

The average life span for homeware items before they’re binned was also investigated, with sofas being kept for 10 years, cookware for nine, but bedding for only six.

Almost half (48%) had previously bought pre-loved homeware items, with 36% of those having done so motivated by the desire to be more sustainable and 39% wanting to reduce the amount of waste they produce.

Those who donate items that can be resold by Shelter can claim a thank you from Denby in the form of a voucher for money of their made-to-last ceramics.

Hayley Baddiley for the pottery brand added: “We all love to pick up a beautiful homeware buy, but it’s important to think about how you’re going to use the item, how long for and what you’re going to do with it when it no longer suits your needs or style.

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“Depending on the condition of your belongings, there are lots of things that can be done to avoid it going to landfill, from repurposing to recycling and of course donating to a charity such as Shelter. 

“It’s also important to think about the purchases you’re making in the first place; we have a ‘buy once, buy well’ mantra and believe investing in durable, versatile and beautiful pieces is key, which is why we want to reward people who have avoided sending their tableware to landfill by donating to it Shelter.”

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