It seems that many of us are, as each year British businesses landfill 165,000 tonnes of office furniture, of which at least 50% could be reused.
We all fancy a change every now and then, and as the product lifespan of furniture is estimated to be 9 to 12 years it can be quite a long wait to only replace it once it is absolutely no longer useable, but there are other options available instead of needlessly wasting thousands of tonnes of metal, wood, plastics and textiles.
Here at Keep Scotland Beautiful, we moved offices 15 months ago and furnished our new offices nearly entirely with reused furniture. This was approximately 80 desks and chairs, 40 desk pedestals, 20 cupboards, and an assortment of other cabinets and storage units. Not only that, they took away our unwanted furniture to either be reused or remanufactured where possible, giving that a new lease of life as well. Obviously using reused furniture saves you money, saves raw materials and energy, reduces waste to landfill and you still get ‘new’ furniture……well new to you anyway.
The Centre for Reuse and Remanufacture (CRR) have been working on an office furniture reuse study over the past year and one of the many elements they have looked into is the carbon impact of reusing furniture. Even with remanufacturing a chair by having to replace the foam seat and arm rests reduces the carbon impact of the chair by 45%, a really significant saving.
Most office furniture manufacturers don’t offer a take back service and so reuse and remanufacture is often left to the third sector. A couple of examples that have been brought to my attention who operate in Scotland are Green Works and WorkBack, they offer a range of services and also support the local community. So next time you fancy a change, remember to have a look and see what is out there, you might be surprised by what is on offer.