Sustainable Cities and Communities

B-Wa(h)renhaus: Berlin’s New Recycling Department Store

Recycling department store
Image © Senatsverwaltung für Umwelt, Verkehr und Klimaschutz (YouTube)

A pop-up recycling department store selling only recycled products is being trialed in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin in a bid to protect the environment.

As part of the city’s efforts to become waste-free by 2030, over the next 6 months Berlin is piloting a new sustainable recycling department store called ‘B-Wa(h)renhaus’. The state-run store sells high-quality second-hand and upcycled goods, such as furniture, clothes, electrical appliances and toys. B-Wa(h)renhaus was opened by the State Secretary for Environment and Climate Protection, Stefan Tidow, under the motto of “new can be used”.

In addition, there is a large events space for workshops and talks all aimed at raising awareness of recycling, waste and the environment. In-store shoppers can also buy dumplings made from food waste, as well as borrow cargo bikes to transport their purchases home.

The city estimates that there are around 250 unused items in every household across Berlin. The launch of B-Wa(h)renhaus represents the crucial transition away from the fast fashion and throwaway culture that contributes to the climate crisis and toward a circular economy based on the reusing and recycling of what is already in circulation. Depending on the success of the pilot project, the city plans to open 4 more stores.

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Posted by Iona Chichester 30 October 2020

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