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The future of waste: be part of the upcycling revolution

Victoria Nieto Felipe
Norwich Business Improvement District (BID)

Would you like your business to be greener?

The Norwich Business Improvement District is working with Small and Medium Enterprises across Norwich to reduce and repurpose waste in ‘Upcycle Your Waste’. This collaborative project, is free to SMEs and brings diverse organisations together, so we can work collectively to protect the environment, reduce landfill, and save natural resources. 

Upcycle Your Waste aims to create a circular economy, where nothing is worthless. One man’s rubbish could truly be another man’s treasure – it’s just a question of putting the two people together! Norwich BID is recruiting Greater Norwich businesses across all sectors, from schools to shops to manufacturers, to participate in the project.  We’ll work together, to analyse business needs and discards, then look at how the waste can be repurposed. 

Upcycling has a hugely positive impact on the environment, reducing landfill and avoiding the ‘single-use’ paradigm. Not only does upcycling improve business sustainability, it also cuts costs, bringing those savings into the local economy. This is your chance to be part of something that will really make a difference to your community and the future of the City.

The initial free audit identifies opportunities to reduce costs, boost sustainability, and limit waste. We’ll take the time to talk to you about your aims and ambitions, learning what your business needs, and the challenges you face. Using these insights, and those of other SMEs across the city, we’ll be able to interrogate the potential opportunities for upcycling and repurposing your waste to benefit other businesses. We want to work towards a circular economy, taking a holistic approach to securing a brighter future. 

Only 25% of SME waste is currently repurposed, leading to the other 75% incurring heavy financial and environmental costs. With this project, whatever your waste is, we’ll look into ways that we can repurpose it. Whether it’s coffee grounds, plastic, paper, rags or something else entirely! 

Upcycling is destined to become a key part of businesses’ environmental and financial planning. Already individuals and companies are identifying opportunities to repurpose their waste. UEA student, George Bailey, has just been awarded a grant to launch his business transforming fishing nets into spectacles, with investment from Jake Humphrey. Dutch Railway Abellio is turning plastic bottles into belts, which are then used as part of the staff uniform.

Norwich is one of only six cities participating in the Interreg 2 Seas EU initiative project, which runs over 3 years and is completely free for businesses to take part in. Norwich BID, a not-for-profit organisation run by local businesses, for local businesses, will coordinate and manage the project, ensuring success. We’ll deliver tailored knowledge, demonstrate practical circular solutions, set up more efficient waste processes and facilitate cooperation between SMEs, all at no cost to your business, working together towards a cleaner future for your business, and for the city. 

Would you like to find out more about how you can reduce your waste, improve your businesses’ sustainability model, and save money on disposal costs? Get in touch with  to be part of the upcycling revolution.