Learn About Sharing and Repairing Initiatives

 Image: Music Broth, IEM Photography

Sharing and repairing initiatives support Scotland’s move away from a linear economy towards a more circular economy, by keeping materials in use for as long as possible.

Take a look below to learn about the linear and circular economies, the waste hierarchy, and how sharing and repairing supports a more sustainable future for Scotland.

Linear Economy

In a linear economy we take virgin materials from the earth, make them into consumer products, use them, and then discard them into landfill.

Linear Economy
Circular Economy Share and Repair Infographic

Circular Economy

In a circular economy we keep products in high value economic use for as long as possible. If someone is finished with a product it is reused by someone else. If a product is broken it is repaired. If a product is only needed for a short time, it can be shared. If a product cannot be shared, repaired or reused, then its materials which are also valuable resources are recycled.

The Waste Hierarchy

The waste hierarchy is a way to understand the value of resources. In a circular economy, we aim to keep materials as close to the top of the waste hierarchy for as long as possible, aiming to avoid landfill altogether.

Waste Hierarchy

Sharing Behaviours

Sharing initiatives encourage shared distribution and use of goods within communities. Sharing libraries promote shared, and therefore reduced consumption, by hosting a library of items which community members can borrow instead of buying new.

Goods available to borrow include books, toys, DIY and gardening tools, outdoor equipment, electronics, bikes, cleaning apparatus, kitchen utensils, and recreational items for parties and hobbies and much more.

Take a look at the infographic below to see what other kinds of items are available for sharing through these types of initiatives.

Repairing Behaviours

Repairing relocates value back into damaged or broken goods by fixing them, instead of throwing them into landfill. Repair projects provide a supportive community space where customers can come to have an item repaired.

The Right to Repair movement rallies against manufacturers who make goods which aren’t built to last, and are challenging or impossible to repair, or who dissuade customers from fixing an item themselves.

Customers can repair a wide variety of items at local repair projects. Take a look at the infographic for just a few examples.