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Shaftesbury opens first visible recycling store on Carnaby Street

Shaftesbury has opened the doors to the first visible recycling unit on Carnaby Street, which will act as both a plastic sorting facility and a retail store.

The ‘Are You Mad’ store, located at 56B Carnaby Street, collects plastic waste from local businesses, shoppers and its community, which is then sorted, shredded, and turned into new objects.

The location, which is now officially open as a store has been functioning for the past month as a plastic collection unit, diverting one tonne of plastic from going to landfills over 40 days.

Are You Mad will also include a workshop where customers can bring their rubbish, learn about plastic and turn their trash into something useful, such as hair combs and coasters.

The initiative collects three different types of plastic: HDPE, PP and PS, which it said it has found in broken hangers, milk bottles, bottle caps and food crates.

Shaftesbury retail director Samantha Bain-Mollisonc said: “We’re delighted to announce that Carnaby will be home to the first ever retail destination plastic recycling concept shop, Are You Mad. The conscious creative unit is one of a kind and we can’t wait to see what unique items are produced from all the plastic donated, as well as the future of recycling.”

Are You Mad co-founder James Suckling said: “Having a bricks-and-mortar store is our way of making repurposed waste visible to the general public.

“We hope to change the perception of rubbish by showing the process of turning waste into unique and tangible objects. As a brand we make a difference by creating meaningful employment and circularity through waste and with this project, the amount of plastic sent to landfills.”

Retailers with a presence in Carnaby, such as G-Shock, The North Face, Ganni and Swatch, have signed up to support the initiative and the organisation will also be taking charitable donations for the project in-store in exchange for retail products.

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