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Globechain enable re-use of one million tonnes of unwanted stuff

Tech startup Globechain has managed to redistribute one million tonnes of unwanted items and equipment via their innovative online platform, supporting the circular economy through direct re-use.

There's more than office tables and chairs re-used through Globechain - from duvets to coffee grounds
There’s more than office tables and chairs re-used through Globechain – from duvets to coffee grounds

The startup has worked with the retail, commercial and construction sectors, providing a way for businesses to get rid of their unwanted stuff. Shop refits, office moves and upgrades can result in products being replaced, and for many organisations this results in a waste problem, with companies often paying for removal and disposal at considerable expense.

Instead, Globechain acts as a marketplace that connects organisations with unwanted goods to others who are in need of equipment, such as charities or social enterprises. The activity facilitates some key aspects of the circular economy framework, namely that products go through multiple consecutive cycles of reuse, and are kept in operation with minimal refurbishment and remanufacturing. The process opens up higher potential savings in terms of material, labour, energy, and capital embedded in the product, compared with a new product or simply recycling the materials. An impressive 95% of all listings on the site are redistributed, mostly within 24 hours.

This week marks a milestone for the platform, having redistributed one million tonnes of material, and enabling the third sector to save over £600,000 in one year. Re-distributed items include fixtures from restaurants such as Nando’s, and medical equipment originally used by Bart’s NHS Trust. However, as well as these shop fixtures and furniture which have some history of re-use, Globechain has also provided a platform for the exchange of materials that you might not immediately consider for re-use, such as spent coffee grounds which have been used for a youth unemployment initiative, growing oyster mushrooms. Hotel chain Radisson Blu Edwardian also see the potential in re-use after using the platform to re-distribute 4,000 pillows and 2,500 duvets that would have otherwise been disposed.

Globechain CEO May Al-Karooni says that the platform is part of the solution in addressing the 177 million tonnes of waste sent to landfill each year in England, and that showing businesses the benefits of redistributing underutilised assets “is helping businesses pave the way for a new era in resources and re-use”.

Lead image: DijuatalTim / Flickr CC BY 2.0


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The Author

Joe Iles

Joe Iles

I'm Editor in Chief of Circulate and Digital Architect at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

When I'm not discussing the circular economy, I also love talking about digital media and online trends, memes, music, bad films and good beer.

You can find me on twitter @joeiles or email joe[at]

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