Making use of end-of-use
We recognise the potential to improve the recycling and reuse of the products that we sell as well as items that are no longer useful to customers. We continue to offer a number of takeback services. We will explore opportunities to expand these services to new product ranges whilst also increasing the variety of products that can be taken back in store for recycling.
Approximately 10 million items of furniture are thrown away every year in the UK but it's estimated that 3 million could be reused2. John Lewis's sofa reuse scheme, our first not-for-profit service, involves collecting 'end-of-first-life' sofas from customers homes, then reusing or recycling them in partnership with local charities to support disadvantaged communities. In 2016, through our work with the Furniture Reuse Network, almost 2,000 of our customers' sofas were reused.
Waste Electrical Equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the UK and landfill sites are reaching full capacity. Much of this waste can be recycled and the resources recovered to make new consumer goods. Through our appliance disposal service, we collect customer WEEE and put it to good use again through reuse or recycling. In 2016/17 over 370,000 items of WEEE were collected of which nearly 30,000 were reused and the remainder recycled.
The majority of mattresses in the UK also end up in landfill when they are no longer in use. Through our mattress recycling service, mattresses are collected and broken down. Most of material extracted such as PU foam, polyester, nylon and steel springs are recycled. In 2016/17 approximately 46,000 mattresses were collected and recycled, preventing roughly 1,500 tonnes of waste going to landfill.
Carpet waste can be particularly challenging to recycle due the variety of component materials that need to be separated. However, in 2013, we began collecting and reprocessing offcuts from our fitters to create new underlay, which is comparable in quality to conventional underlay.