The world’s first recycling mall

The world’s first recycling mall

Found in the city of Eskilstuna, Sweden - ReTuna Återbruksgalleria is the world's first recycling mall, revolutionising shopping in a climate-smart way. Old items are given new life through repair and up-cycling. Everything sold is recycled or reused or has been organically or sustainably produced.

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It is easy for visitors to sort materials they are discarding into the containers and then drop off reusable toys, furniture, clothes, decorative items, and electronic devices in the mall’s depot, called “Returen”. In the depot, staff from AMA (Eskilstuna Municipality’s resource unit for activity, motivation and work) perform an initial culling of what is usable and what is not. The items are then distributed to the recycling shops in the mall. The shop staff then perform a second culling, where they choose what they want to repair, fix up, convert, refine – and ultimately sell. In this way, the materials are given new life.

And the business concept is working: In 2016, ReTuna Återbruksgalleria had SEK 8.1 million in sales for recycled products.

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ReTuna is more than just a marketplace. It also aims to be a public educator. ReTuna organises events, workshops, lectures, theme days, and more – all with a focus on sustainability. The folk high school Eskilstuna Folkhögskola conducts its one-year education program “Recycle Design” in the premises. There are also conference rooms, where guests can hold climate-smart meetings. Organic lunch and baked treats are on offer at Café Returama.

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ReTuna Återbruksgalleria and Retuna Återvinningscentral are run by the municipality-owned company Eskilstuna Energi och Miljö (EEM).

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Eskilstuna Municipality strives to be a green role model. In its environment-related development work, the idea came about to open a mall that had “regular” shops, but with a reused and upcycled range of products. The concept would attract a broad target group, and spread knowledge about sustainability and circular economy.

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In addition to offering sustainable shopping and serving as a public educator in relation to environmental issues, ReTuna Återbruksgalleria has generated over 50 new jobs. The mall has become international sensation attracting  documentary filmmakers, journalists and curious tourists from around the world have visited ReTuna Återbruksgalleria.

For more info visit: www.retuna.se

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