Municipality of Eskilstuna, Sweden
ReTuna Återbruksgalleria (ReTuna Recycling mall) is the world’s first recycling mall, revolutionizing shopping in a climate-smart way. Old items are given new life through repair and upcycling. Everything sold is recycled or reused or has been organically or sustainably produced.
Eskilstuna Municipality strives to be a green role model. In its environment-related development work, the idea came about to open a mall that had “regular” shops, but with a reused and upcycled range of products. The concept would attract a broad target group, and spread knowledge about sustainability and circular economy.
Good practices and solutions
The mall opened its doors in August 2015 and is located next to the Retuna Återvinningscentral, recycling center at Folkestaleden in Eskilstuna. It is easy for visitors to sort the materials they are discarding into the containers and then drop off reusable toys, furniture, clothes, decorative items, and electronic devices in the mall’s depot, called “Returen”. In the depot, staff from AMA (Eskilstuna Municipality’s resource unit for activity, motivation and work) perform an initial culling of what is usable and what is not. The items are then distributed to the recycling shops in the mall. The shop staff then perform a second culling, where they choose what they want to repair, fix up, convert, refine – and ultimately sell. In this way, the materials are given new life.
Outcomes & Opportunities
The business concept is working: In 2018, ReTuna Återbruksgalleria had 2 million € in sales for recycled products. But, ReTuna is more than just a marketplace. It also aims to be a public educator. ReTuna organizes events, workshops, lectures, themedays, and more – all with a focus on sustainability. The folk high school Eskilstuna Folkhögskola conducts its one-year education program “Recycle Design – Återbruk” on the premises. There are also conference rooms, where guests can hold climate-smart meetings. Organic lunch and baked treats are on offer at Café Returama.
In addition to offering sustainable shopping and serving as a public educator in relation to environmental issues, ReTuna Återbruksgalleria has generated over 50 new jobs. The mall has become international news – documentary filmmakers, journalists and curious tourists from around the world have visited ReTuna Återbruksgalleria. The concept is now spreading.
Related SDG targets
- 8.1 Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries.
- 8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10‑Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, with developed countries taking the lead.
- 12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.
Photo: © Inspiration Feed/Unplash
Project: Circular Baltic 2030