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Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.


Reuse, repair, recycle: Supporting the circular economy

In the face of the cost-of-living and climate crises, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, unsure, or even helpless.

Where should we begin to make a positive difference to our communities and the planet? Can we even achieve both at the same time? Circular Communities Scotland offers a simple way to support your local charities and social enterprises, whose work benefits local people and communities, and tackles climate change too.

All over Scotland there are reuse, repair and recycling charities that prevent valuable products and materials from entering landfill, create local jobs, develop economic opportunities, and help promote social and environmental justice in a myriad of ways.

From repair cafes where you can have items fixed instead of throwing them away, to sharing libraries where you can borrow an item instead of buying new, to community fridges providing sustainable food sources to local people, to bike projects that reuse and repair old bikes and promote sustainable travel.

There are quite literally a hundred different ways to reframe the way you shop, think about your consumption and support some incredible organisations at the same time. Often, their profits go back into their communities, or they might also support a special cause, such as homelessness, human rights, poverty or any number of other social issues.

A national membership organisation, Circular Communities Scotland has over 250 of these charities and social enterprises as our members. We work to support them to thrive and represent them as a whole to help make sure their collective voice is heard at all levels of decision-making in Scotland.

Our overarching goal is to empower local communities to deliver a circular economy, helping to create a thriving circular economy in Scotland.

The ‘circular economy’ might sound like a technical concept, but it’s just the idea that we want to keep materials as high quality as possible, for as long as possible. That means not throwing things away, but having them reused, repaired, and eventually recycled to be used again.

This is the opposite of the ‘linear economy’ where virgin materials are taken from the earth, used to create a product, which is made to be thrown into landfill when it’s no longer of use. Fast fashion, where items aren’t made to last, go out of style quickly, and end up in landfill, is a great example of the linear economy.

Supporting the circular economy and getting involved with your local reuse, repair and recycling charities is easy. Just visit Circular Communities Scotland’s members map to find local members near you. You can visit your local reuse, repair or recycling charities today! With events, shopping experiences, workshops, lessons and community meet ups, there’s something for everyone. Visit to learn more about what we do, and support a more circular economy in Scotland today.

Last modified on 5 July 2023