Published in a consultation by WRAP, the generic, sector-wide standard is designed to help organisations in the UK offer products for reuse that have been subjected to a quality assured process.

Research into the supply chains of reuse products has shown that the industry is segmented and that consumer confidence in re-use products is low. There are also few formal standards or codes of practice in the industry.

Launching the consultation, head of resource efficiency in products and services at WRAP, David Moon, said: “An important constraint on the growth of this sector is weak consumer confidence in the quality of products offered for re-sale. This is partly due to the shortage of publicly available standards for preparing such items. The Re-use Standard will address this gap, and we now welcome comments that will help shape it.”

However, the Furniture Reuse Network (FRN) said the standard is “lacking in content and scope of risks, liabilities or application” and in its current form would be “devastating for the future of the reuse sector”.

FRN chief executive Craig Anderson said the very basic requirements within the standard would lead to poor performance and expectation.

According to the Centre for Remanufacturing and Re-use (CRR), around 165,000 tonnes of office furniture is thrown away annually by British Businesses. Half of it is reuseable and could offer environmental and economic savings.

One study estimated that Durham County Council could save £47,000 and 59 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year through the procurement of remanufactured furniture.

The Reuse Standard 2013 has been drafted in association with a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) comprising of UK stakeholders from across the re-use sector, including Governments, public bodies, commercial and charitable reuse operators, and waste and resource management companies.

The consultation will run for a two-month period.

edie staff

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