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The 5R's to Preventing Plastic Pollution : #4 REPAIR

The journey towards a plastic-free everyday is not always easy, but little by little and by adopting some eco-friendly gestures, we can all contribute to reducing the amount of plastic that accumulates in our oceans. In this blog, we address the 4th R: Repair.

Extending the life of any item made with plastic can help us greatly reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment. The act of repairing before throwing away can be applied to a wide range of items, such as appliances, electronics, and textiles.

In Europe, less than 40% of electronic devices (WEEE) are recycled, and the volume of this type of waste is increasing. And it’s not just about the plastic, these items are often made up of different materials, including metals, minerals, and chemicals, which can make the recycling process more difficult.

Repair cafés to fight against waste

A few years ago, PPP partner the Conseil Départemental de la Manche (CD50) launched a repair café where about 20 volunteers ran a workshop to help repair toys, radios, scales, etc. A 3D printer was also available to make some missing parts.

The repair café movement is growing worldwide, with workshops listed both in France and the UK. More than 2,400 repair cafes are listed on the Repair Café website. 

But if you don’t find one near you, the site also contains free resources and repair tutorials for certain items so that everyone can try to repair at home before retiring their item to be recycled. Ifixit is another great resource where you can find repair manuals and advice on repairing anything from bags and camping gear to your laptop, or even your car.

Tips and tricks to repair before throwing away


There is a multitude of videos on the internet that show how to sew on a button, tips on how to repair small holes, or repair a zip. You can also find helpful repair guides here.

And if you’re still not convinced about trying your hand at clothing repairs, a visit to the tailor before you buy can still save you money.

Electronics and appliances

You may be able to complete small repairs at home, but if you aren’t confident or don’t have the tools, you can find your nearest repair café or find repair manuals, tips and tricks here.