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National Upcycling Day

Survey reveals Bristol is the UK's most upcycle-savvy city
National Upcycling Day

Today (24 June) is the second annual National Upcycling Day – and households across the country are being urged to consider upcycling items otherwise destined for a landfill.

While the sales of upcycled items on Gumtree have increased by 50% in the past year, a survey by the UK’s largest classifieds website reveals that Brits still throw out a huge number of household items that could be upcycled.

250k sofas in landfill

The findings reveal that sofas top the list of furniture most likely to be thrown out – a shocking one in eight households have thrown out up to two sofas in the last year, amounting to over a quarter of a million sofas going to landfill every month.

This is just one example of the vast number of household items that go to waste: over 190,000 dining tables, 150,000 coffee tables, 290,000 suitcases and 135,000 dining chairs also get the boot every month. This is a huge amount of waste considering you can sell a dining table and four chairs on Gumtree for on average £150.

‘I was pretty shocked to hear how many pieces of old furniture get thrown out every year – these are an upcycler’s dream – there are so many amazing and simple things you can create from something like an old coffee table.’

Upcycling expert and TV presenter

According to the survey, the five most thrown away household items are:

  • Sofas
  • Lamps
  • Coffee tables
  • Suitcases
  • Chest of drawers

Upcycle-savvy cities

The desire to give a new lease of life to old materials by turning them into something functional and beautiful is on the rise across Britain.

40% of Brits say they have tried their hand at upcycling and a further one in five upcycle on a regular basis.

The top five most upcycle-savvy cities, based on the percentage of the population that upcycle regularly, are:

  • Bristol (29%)
  • Cardiff (27%)
  • Aberystwyth (25%)
  • Wrexham (25%)
  • Plymouth (23%)

The workshop tour

40% of those who don’t upcycle say the biggest obstacle is not feeling creative enough, while a third don’t know what to upcycle.

To combat this hurdle and encourage the nation to give old household items another chance, Gumtree is taking upcycling on the road for this year’s National Upcycling Day.

The company has partnered with upcycling expert Max McMurdo to transform an old double-decker bus into an upcycling workshop. The bus will be travelling across the UK inviting the public on board to create something amazing and to inspire the nation to think twice before throwing things out.

‘Having spent a solid ten days upcycling an entire double decker bus into a workspace on wheels, I’m excited to get it on the road for Gumtree’s Upcycle Revolution this year… I’m eager to show just how simple it can be to create amazing things out of so-called ‘junk’.’

Upcycling expert and TV presenter

Tour dates

Ely’s Yard, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL
Saturday 25 June, 10:30-17:00
Churchill Way, CF10 2HQ
Monday 27 June, 10:30-17:00
Piccadilly Gardens, M1 1AF
Wednesday 29 June, 10:30-17:00
Argyll Street, Debenhams, G2 8AR
Friday 01 July, 10:30-17:00

To find out more about the Upcycling bus tour or National Upcycling Day follow the hashtag #UpcycleRevolution on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to visit the Gumtree Upcyling hub.

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