Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland



The concept of 'reuse' is well understood at a community level and the reusing practice is widespread for domestic goods. However, to support the transition to a circular economy, the practice needs to be adopted more widely at a business and industry level as well.

Reuse is about enabling a material or product to continue being used for its original purpose, even though it has become surplus to your needs – achieving this simply by changing owner. Doing this retains the inherent value of the materials and requires no reprocessing of the product. This makes it a better option for the environment than recycling - which involves breaking the product down and remaking the same thing or producing something else.

By reusing materials and goods we are reducing the use of virgin materials and energy; and the air and water pollution associated with the raw material's extraction (e.g. mining, quarrying and logging), processing and manufacture.

How this can benefit your business

  • Cuts your disposal costs and generates revenues
  • Reduces your impact on the environment
  • Provides a practical demonstration of your green credentials
  • Enhances your reputation


What you must do


What you can do

  • Prioritise 'reuse' in your procurement policy – buy from for example second hand shops or providers, such as the ones accredited by Revolve - Revolve is a 'reuse' quality standard, with which you can demonstrate your commitment to quality and improvement in Scotland.
  • Make your surplus items available for reuse, for example through online exchange - see resources list below. 
  • See our guide Reusing waste which provides a range of ideas about how to reuse within your own business e.g. furniture, IT equipment and carpets, and how to donate materials for reuse by other organisations.
  • If you sell second hand goods in Scotland, become a Revolve-accredited business.

Resources to locate where you can find products for reuse, and to where you can donate unwanted items


In this Guideline

What is a circular economy?

Using fewer resources

Managing your waste for a circular economy - recycling and beyond

Designing your product, service and business model for a circular economy


Repairing goods

Remanufacturing and refurbishing


Protecting biodiversity and regenerating natural systems

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