Tuesday, 29 May 2012 11:02
Scrapstores take clean business waste like: off cuts of card, fabric and plastic for community groups and families to use in art, craft and play. Unusual shapes, textures and materials are available in a kaleidoscope of colours -it's no wonder scrapstores are often referred to as "Aladdin’s caves".
Scrapstores and their members creatively divert 10.5 million kilos of waste from landfill. So for every kilo of paper or cotton that’s diverted that’s a kilo of raw materials that doesn’t need to be grown, processed or manufactured. What’s even better is that the children and adults using these materials are being inspired to think creatively about the planet's precious resources while having a great time using them.
So everyone wins with scrapstores: manufacturers, who have their waste removed; the local community, who enjoy access to low cost resources; and the environment, as scrapstores save valuable resources being dumped in land fill.
This broad section of beneficiaries has not kept scrapstores immune from the current recession. They have been hit on all fronts by funding cuts, reductions in rate relief, rent and utility and transportation cost increases, drops in donations and manufacturing slowdowns.
10 scrapstores have closed in as many months meaning some 6,000 people no longer have a scrapstore to use. The remaining 90 scrapstores continue to support some 74,000 member groups, however these groups are also feeling the effects of the credit crunch. While they continue to appreciate the great value scrapstores provide; they too have been affected by cuts in grant and statutory aid resulting in tighter budgets and/or closure in some cases
Thankfully scrapstores are by their very nature resourceful enterprises who despite all the difficulties have risen to the challenge in these challenging times. Those that remain open are in greater demand by manufacturers: who are ever more conscious of their environmental impact and their social responsibilities they need scrapstores more than ever; by the community: who rely on scrapstore materials to provide creative opportunities for children, young people and adults; and the environment: by saving resources from land fill scrapstores are doing their bit to save the planet.
ScrapstoresUK is the national network body that represents scrapstores interests on a national level.
ScrapstoresUK Chairman Gary King said “Every scrapstore, no matter the size, is run by a small but committed group of staff, many of whom are volunteers. Whilst their goodwill and commitment are limitless; scrapstores often need to be financially supported by their local authorities or other benevolent organisations or individuals, as many scrapstore users are unable to bare the true cost of providing these valuable resources themselves.”
ScrapstoresUK National Coordinator Nikki DiGiovanni said: “Whilst some scrapstores are making significant inroads towards being financially self sustaining it must be understood that this is usually because they have had support to become established and over many years have managed to build up sufficient independent income generating schemes”.
Everyone wins with scrapstores; they are good news for the environment, they have educational and social benefits and they inspire creativity, problem solving, resourcefulness and collaboration. You can donate to scrapstoresUK to fund the work of supporting new scrapstores to open and help the existing ones to survive at: www.scrapstoresuk.org