Research reveals Brits could be throwing away up to £150m worth of stuff each year when moving home

A recent study by SUEZ recycling and recovery UK discovered that, during house moves, English residents could be discarding items worth up to £150 million annually. This investigation surveyed 1,000 individuals who moved residences in the last year and found that, on average, each person disposed of belongings valued at about £85. In spite of this, there’s an emerging aspiration to adopt a circular economy, as underscored by the recent data from the English Housing Survey indicating that 1.8 million individuals changed homes in the past year.

The survey’s findings further highlighted changing attitudes towards waste. Over half of the respondents (51%) opted to mend broken or damaged possessions instead of discarding them during their most recent relocation. Additionally, a remarkable 91% expressed a preference for buying second-hand or “preloved” household items. However, barriers such as time constraints (44%), repair costs (44%), and a deficiency in repair skills or knowledge (39%) were reasons respondents bypassed mending their belongings. Notably, 55% expressed a need for more information about repair and reuse services, signalling an opportunity for local councils to back the repair and reuse movement, in collaboration with various sectors.

Sarah Ottaway, from SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, remarked on the rising costs associated with moving homes and the financial implications of replacing items. She praised the circular economy’s potential to reduce waste and enable consumers to make economic savings. Ottaway also acknowledged the public’s keenness to prolong the lifespan of their possessions and emphasised SUEZ’s commitment to partnering with local councils. Through initiatives like webinars and site visits, they aim to foster an environment of reuse and repair, striving for sustainable community outcomes.