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The Used Kitchen Company who introduced the concept of kitchen recycling in 2005 is again dynamically spearheading environmental change within the kitchen sector, by introducing groundbreaking ‘Kitchen Passports’ – an initiative that focuses on the eco necessity of extending kitchens’ lifespans from cradle to grave
They (www.theusedkitchencompany.com), will launch what could be a catalyst for attitudinal change in its sector at kbb Birmingham 2020.
TUKC has done what others in the kitchen trade and the economy in general have not, by responding to the call for a focus on ‘product passports’ in Defra’s ‘Resources & Waste Strategy’ of December 2018 and in the subsequent consultations published in July 2019.
TUKC has already become a two-times ‘green hero’ thanks to saving 14,000 tonnes of kitchen materials from an unnecessary landfill grave over the past 14.5 years. It now believes its Kitchen Passports can deliver even more significant green benefits, as it calls for the same reaction to kitchen waste as has been witnessed with regard to fast fashion.
How the Kitchen Passport Works
Every kitchen buyer in the UK can now take advantage of TUKC’s initiative, if they truly believe that creating a greener economy is the best plan for the future of the planet.
A TUKC Kitchen Passport holds all the vital information on an individual kitchen, to make it easier to sell it on to another owner. This extends the kitchen’s lifespan and maximises the resources that went into its creation. Rather than scrapping a kitchen when refurbishing, it can prompt a kitchen owner to think again and consider their environmental impacts when generating significant amounts of what can be totally unnecessary waste that just piles more pressure onto landfill sites.
All of the key information required can be neatly recorded in one place thanks to the TUKC Kitchen Passport. It enables anyone reviewing the passport to see when the kitchen was ‘born’, who manufactured it, which showroom sold it and when it was first installed.
It also provokes thought, by enabling the year and location of a second install to be noted, with this potentially helping to secure a third home for a kitchen before reaching its final resting place.
The type of materials used in its manufacture can also be documented, with fields to complete for carcass, door front and worktop material. Notes specific to the passport-holding kitchen can be added. All appliances and their serial numbers can be recorded, along with emergency numbers, for showroom, fitter, plumber, electrician and appliance services. Dismantling advice is also provided, so all facts are at the owner’s fingertips.
Kitchen Passports will be provided to every buyer purchasing a used or ex-display kitchen through www.theusedkitchencompany.com so that they have as much information as possible about the future recyclability of their kitchen. However, the passport will be available to anyone wishing to support this major green initiative, with TUKC being about to launch a dedicated website to back its green inspiration – www.mykitchenpassport.com
This website will allow the kitchen owner to hold their kitchen’s information digitally, making it as green a concept as possible.
TUKC is now calling upon all kitchen showrooms who they already work with, to play their part and give Kitchen Passports their stamp of approval. As they are the starting point for a kitchen lifecycle that can be extended through the kitchen passport initiative, there is an onus on showrooms to act and participate.
TUKC says showrooms should have all the information needed for the passport on file and can help with the issue of the document to the first owner. They can become green heroes, by not only putting their ex-display kitchens on sale through TUKC but also making it easier for the buyer of those kitchens to again sell them on, at some point, with the assistance of the details provide in the passport.
There is a strong financial reason for showrooms to participate, with many consumers now choosing to only back brands and businesses with strong eco credentials.
Independent showrooms and studios have a 40% share of the market and all could participate in the Kitchen Passports scheme. TUKC says 1.2m kitchens were installed in 2017 but only a fraction of these are recycled each year. Mintel’s November 2019 ‘UK Kitchens and Kitchen Furniture Market Report’ showed 22% of kitchens were refitted in the last three years. That is more than one in five kitchens and those kitchens are ousting those already in residence within homes, many of which could be appreciated by someone else.
Cabinets make up over half of the spend on a new kitchen and, according to a 2017 study, each 1000mm cabinet, made with particleboard or MDF, generates 26kg CO2e. A 1000mm drawer module, with double doors and one shelf, made from the same material, generates 43kg CO2e. Raw materials are the main constituent of these carbon footprints.
The Used Kitchen Company’s founder, CEO Looeeze Grossman, says: “I founded The Used Kitchen Company in 2005, when the first policies relating to landfill waste were introduced, to address a growing issue. We became the first kitchen recycler that year, opening eyes when it came to the possibility of extending a kitchen’s life by finding it another home.
“Now, 14.5 years later, we are again spearheading change, by providing another means through which a kitchen’s lifecycle can be extended. We want to engineer a third life for a kitchen, not just a second, and our kitchen passports could help to do that. Even if that does not happen, we should be able to have an impact on how that kitchen is broken down, encouraging recycling of elements that do not have to be sent to landfill. If the trade does not throw its weight behind our Kitchen Passports, we could potentially miss a major opportunity to reduce impacts on the environment
“We need to further accelerate the transition to a circular economy within the kitchen trade sector and within the mindset of both kitchen showrooms and homeowners. Scrapped kitchens create a significant amount of waste and, whilst you may no longer want your kitchen, someone else could cherish it. One person’s cast-off can be another’s dream.
“Our own commissioned research shows us that that the major motivation behind buying a second-hand kitchen is still a financial one, namely the 50-70% saving that a buyer can enjoy when buying through us. We would like to see our kitchen passports initiative making green motivations equally important.”
Come and check in at Stand V95 at kbb2020 or give us a call on 020 8349 1943 to hear all about it. More information about how to recycle your kitchen, or buy a used kitchen, can be found at www.theusedkitchencompany.com