Just under a third of people (30%) have thrown away furniture, electrical items and homewares in good enough condition that they could have been re-used, sold or donated, according to figures from the British Heart Foundation.
The BHF survey of over 2,000 first time buyers and renters revealed that a third are sending their unwanted goods to landfill, with the most likely reasons given for binning unwanted items instead of recycling or donating being not having the means to transport it (20%), wanting to get rid of things as quickly as possible (16%), and finding it easier to take it to the dump (9%).
Just under one in five UK adults aged 16-24 (19%) said they would not know how to donate or recycle furniture and homeware. The vast majority (79%) of respondents aged 55+ have never thrown away furniture, electrical items and homewares in good enough condition that they could have been re-used, sold or donated compared to under three in five respondents aged 16-24 (55%). The over 55s were also far less likely to get rid of items than those age 16-24 (21% vs 45%).
BHF has released survey as part of its Reuse Revolution campaign, which is encouraging the nation to shop, upcycle and donate second hand furniture.
The survey also found that despite the financial pressures of buying a first home or taking on a new rental property, only two in five UK adults (41%) have bought second hand furniture and homewares. Similarly, less than a third (31%) have taken advantage of secondhand sites like eBay and Gumtree.
Allison Swaine-Hughes, Retail Director at the BHF, said:
“Last year the British Heart Foundation rescued 74,000 tonnes of items from landfill due to the generous donations of our supporters. But we know that there are still so many more sofas, sideboards and beds out there that aren’t yet ready for the tip and could provide an ideal and affordable answer for those looking to furnish their home on a budget.
“This month we are asking the public to join the Reuse Revolution and shop, upcycle or donate their secondhand furniture while helping to raise funds for life-saving research in to heart and circulatory disease. You can simply call your local shop to arrange a free donation.”
Last year, the BHF reused and recycled over 42,000 tonnes of furniture and electrical products including 185,000 sofas and 50,000 TVs.
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