20 creative ways (and counting) that Amsterdam is pushing to make its economy circular

Read the full story at Fast Company.

If you live in Amsterdam and your shirt or jacket needs mending, the city wants to help you fix it instead of trashing it: Low-income residents can get 40% discounts at local repair shops. And if you no longer want a piece of clothing, the city hopes that you’ll take it to a place like the Swapshop, a resale store that gives discounts in exchange for each used dress or shirt you bring in. As a last resort, you can drop it off for recycling at a network of bins throughout the city. Next year, a new recycling facility will open that can turn old clothes into yarn that can be locally manufactured into clothing.

It’s one piece of the city’s approach to tackling an ambitious goal. By the middle of the century, Amsterdam aims to make its economy entirely “circular,” meaning that materials—from textiles, to solar panels, to entire buildings—are used in closed loops, instead of the current system of extracting valuable materials and using large amounts of energy to make products that quickly end up in landfills. By the end of the decade, Amsterdam plans to cut the use of nonnatural raw materials in half. But the transformation needed is huge, and it remains to be seen how far the city will get.

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