Hear from the voices of Scotland’s circular third sector and discover why they’re calling for a strong and ambitious Circular Economy Bill.

Strong climate legislation has the power to transform our environment, economy, and communities for the better.

Meaningful climate legislation, including Scotland’s Circular Economy Bill, could profoundly benefit reuse charities and social enterprises across Scotland and the amazing communities they support.

These inspiring organisations reuse items and materials, save waste from landfill, create positive outcomes for communities and tackle some of Scotland’s most pressing social issues.

Reuse charities are experts on circularity in our third sector and understand how a strong Circular Economy Bill could create a more sustainable future for Scotland.

What is the Circular Economy Bill?

Scotland’s Circular Economy Bill has the potential to meaningfully reduce waste in Scotland, by introducing a circular economy strategy and targets. Learn more about our Circular Economy Bill policy influencing here.

Why are reuse charities calling for a strong and ambitious Bill?

Recent changes to Scottish Government’s climate legislation and the ending of the Bute House Agreement have put environmental legislation under threat.

The circular third sector in Scotland, supported by Circular Communities Scotland, is sharing why it’s so important to put politics aside, and push forward the legislation that will benefit us and our planet.

Every day this week, Circular Communities Scotland will share a new voice of one of our members, that represent over 260 circular charities and social enterprise in Scotland.

#LetsListen to what they have to say.

 

“A robust Circular Economy would significantly benefit Recyke-a-bike and our local community.”

Not only does Recyke-a-bike support bike reuse by salvaging, recycling and reselling bikes, it also creates a long list of social benefits for its community through the power of cycling.

Through its bike reuse work, Recyke-a-bike promotes sustainable travel, relieves poverty, and supports health, education and the environment in its local community in Stirling. Its work also supports community members into employment, education, training, and volunteering, as well as offering inclusive training services and outreach work.

Quality, refurbished, reused bikes are sold in its well-stocked and modestly priced shop, helping to support its vital work and to make sustainable travel through cycling accessible to its community.

Recyke-a-bike supports a Circular Economy Bill and climate legislation that extends to support bike reuse, sustainable travel, transport, cycling infrastructure and initiatives.

Recyke-a-bike hopes that strong, circular legislation in Scotland could help spark more engagement with bike reuse.

“A robust Circular Economy Bill would likely increase visibility, and encourage more people to donate their old bicycles, increasing our stock for bikes for refurbishment, and supporting us to fulfil our mission to promote cycling and sustainability.”

“We’d love to see the Bill include measures to incentivise businesses and individuals to repair and reuse goods rather than disposing of them. This could result in increased demand for Recyke-a-bike’s bike maintenance classes and repairs services.”

A strong circular economy in Scotland could help lead the way for more environmentally friendly legislation, such as sustainable transport initiatives.

“We would appreciate policy initiatives that promote the circular economy, such as incentives for businesses to operate more sustainably. Clear guidelines and support for sustainable and active transport initiatives would also be welcomed, helping to integrate cycling into broader transportation strategies and allow cycling as an everyday activity for sport, commuting or leisure.”

Ultimately, Recyke-a-bike envisions a future where all sectors of society and government work together to create a viable, circular economy which benefits us all.

“Recyke-a-bike hopes for a future where the circular third sector in Scotland thrives as a vital component of a sustainable society. We envision increased collaboration and support between the government, businesses, and community organisations to promote best circular economy practices.”

“Overall, a strong Circular Economy Bill would provide Recyke-a-bike with increased support, resources, and demand, benefiting both the charity and its local community by promoting cycling, reducing waste, and fostering environmental awareness.”

Quotes from Eloise Brakefield, Operations Manager of Recyke-a-bike

‘An ambitious, constructive bill, can help develop the sharing community to be more prominent in people’s minds.’

Ever wish you could learn to play an instrument without buying one new?

Music Broth is Scotland’s Musical Instrument Library (or Scotland’s Loudest Library!)

Through its affordable membership, customers can borrow instruments from Music Broth, swapping them as they want or need, and keeping them for as long as they like.

Through its borrowing culture, workshops for learning music, collaborations with other organisations to support musical culture and mental health and support with professional music promotion, the library increases accessibility to music for all, whilst reducing waste and supporting the environment.

Music Broth’s amazing variety of stock includes guitars, drums, didgeridoos, various dulcimers, fujaras, violins, and sitars, which are maintained and repaired by its talented volunteers.

By borrowing from Music Broth, community members save instruments from landfill, and reduce the need for new, expensive items to be bought.

Music Broth believes Scottish Government can learn and benefit from the examples set by Scotland’s third sector sharing initiatives.

“The Circular Economy Bill should build on what’s already emerging, already tried and tested, and bring those learnings together to make sharing libraries the first option over buying new.”

“Music Broth has shown that a library of instruments can really work. We have over 3000 items in our stock, with no apparent limit to what is out there, and have diverted instruments, amps and PA systems, with their difficult to recycle mixed materials, electronics, and heavy metals from landfill. We urge local and national government to engage with and prioritise sharing initiatives like ours.”

Strong circular legislation that supports sharing and borrowing behaviours can support our economy and transform the way people consume.

“Strong legislation that fully embraces the circular third sector has the ability to make vast improvements. We want to see meaningful engagement with the circular third sector from both elected and civil servants so we can share with them the potential to change people’s attitudes to borrowing and repairing, as well as the meaningful savings that can be made by diverting away from landfill and incineration.”

We have an opportunity to bring circularity and sharing behaviours truly into the mainstream, where Scotland’s charitable reuse sector can thrive.

“Economic savings made through circular activities could, and should, be diverted back to Scotland’s circular third sector. We would love to see unused retail space in town centres to become spaces for circular third sector organisations. When we’re on the high street, then we’ll be accepted into the mainstream.”

Quotes from James Bajgar, Music Hub Manager of Music Broth

 

‘We have the opportunity of a lifetime to make some real changes to our whole approach to consumption and waste that will benefit generations to come.’

Some charities do good for the planet, its communities, and support society’s most meaningful causes.

Stella’s Voice does just this by supporting the vulnerable and being a source of help at home and abroad.

This vital work is funded by large-scale reuse and recycling projects, including charity shops which sell on quality donated and collected goods. These funds are used to support the organisation’s work or to directly to support humanitarian efforts.

To support its selfless work, Stella’s Voice offers volunteer opportunities and placements for people looking to get back into work, build their confidence, learn new skills or who simply want to be part of something that is making a difference.

Stella’s Voice believes that the third sector as a vital role to play in bringing meaningful circularity to Scotland, benefitting communities first.

“Engaging with the third sector is a must to bring Scotland’s Circular Economy Bill, and circular economy, forward. Ideally, circular activities should go back into benefitting our local communities. Numbers diverted from landfill are important, but the stories of the impact on the lives of people who benefit from items avoiding landfill, and being reused are even more powerful.”

Strong climate legislation could help inspire new attitudes to waste and reuse, which would support independent charities and social enterprises.

“As a nation we are entrenched in multi-generational behaviour when it comes to waste and all things circular.  Without strong legislation forcing a change, things may not transform at the rate we need them to.”

“The cost of running a third sector organisation can be the same as a private business under the cost of living and cost of running crises. Third sector organisations exist for the benefit of others, and strong support for circular activities linked to the charitable sector will provide much needed funding to help secure the outcomes needed and ensure the impact is as wide-reaching as possible.”

It’s important for Scottish Government to listen to Scotland’s circular third sector about climate legislation, and Scotland’s Circular Economy Bill.

“We’d implore for Scottish Government to really listen to our sector. We’re already experts in our field, where reuse, repair and recycling is used to benefit the planet, our communities and social causes. We would urge our Government to allow our sector to show them what can be, and what needs to be done to make really long lasting, impactful change.”

Quotes from Mark Morgan, C.E.O of Stella’s Voice.

 

 

“We believe a strong and ambitious Circular Economy Bill would help to bring the Circular Economy into mainstream thinking and behaviours.”

Not sure what the circular economy really means?

Ostrero is a limited company with a social purpose that works to bridge the gap between the amazing opportunities the circular economy brings, people’s knowledge and understanding of what it is, and how it can help us address the climate emergency.

Working with all kinds of communities, Ostrero provides fun, creative and educational services, from its Making Circles programme in schools, to workshops about circular design and making for businesses and third sector organisations, to designing events with minimum waste, and research and advocacy projects that explore circular ideas and how to make them work.

Ostrero supports a Circular Economy Bill that is truly embedded in Scottish society, with businesses and communities encouraged and incentivised to choose reuse.

“We would love to see the Circular Economy become really embedded in everyday life in Scotland, so that instead of going to a big international shop to buy a power drill, we join our local tool library and borrow one instead; instead of chucking away a pair of jeans because they’ve got a hole and buying new ones, we know how to repair and love what we already have.”

Organisations like Ostrero understand education around the circular economy is key to ensuring circular initiatives and policies get the attention and support they deserve.

“At Ostrero we would really like to see the inclusion of education and skills in the Circular Economy Bill. We believe that it is of fundamental importance to include education at school level so that every citizen in Scotland understands how a circular approach can help us choose a different way of doing things that protects the climate, biodiversity, and social justice.”

Meaningful climate legislation that tackles wasteful practises can promote a transformation in the way we live and consume.

“We live in an economic climate that encourages using resources that have taken millions of years to form, to make products such as water bottles that we use and chuck away within seconds. We need strong climate legislation to turn the ship more quickly, prioritising alternative ways of designing, making and using things, such as rental, repair, sharing and customisation.”

Ostrero is proud to call for the Scottish Government to prioritise education in the Circular Economy Bill.

“We would love every child in Scotland to be given access to Circular Economy education so that they can understand the importance of circular solutions and have access to the amazing opportunities the Circular Economy offers.”

Quotes provided by Mary Michel, Co-founder, Ostrero.