It is anticipated that the not-for-profit service will result in 65% of returned sofas being reused, 20% repaired or refurbished and then reused, and 15% broken down into component parts to be recycled.

Under the scheme ‘end of first life’ sofas will be collected by the retailer from customer’s homes through backhauling and recovered in conjunction with local charities.

John Lewis has been working with the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN), a national co-ordinating body for 300 UK reuse organisations, that collect a wide range of household items to pass onto people in need, to launch the initiative.

A trial was recently completed in the North West, which saw 192 sofas reused or recycled. According to the FRN’s Lesley Wilcox, the trials were a resounding success.

“I am delighted they have paved the way for the roll out of such a positive scheme,” she said.

According to research, 10 million items of furniture are thrown away every year in the UK of which 3 million items could be reused.

John Lewis’ head of sustainability Stephen Cawley said the initiative not only has environmental benefits, but added social value too.

“It supports our ambition to divert waste from landfill so it is a win-win approach for communities and the environment,” he said.

Maxine Perella

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