Upcycling: The solution to Britain's throwaway furniture crisis

Over 300,000 tonnes of usable furniture is sent to landfill each year in the UK. Ahead of National Home Improvement Week, celebrity DIY vlogger Georgina Burnett shows just how easy it is to upcycle it instead

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The trend for recycling and upcycling furniture has been steadily growing in the UK over the past decade. However, according to sustainability campaign group WRAP, Britons are still throwing away a staggering 670,000 tonnes of furniture each year.

Researchers calculated that nearly half (45 per cent) of the total could be reused immediately, or would be reusable with slight repair. This means that 301,500 tonnes of furniture is needlessly being sent to landfill every year – that’s the same weight as 24,000 London buses.

Georgina Burnett, TV presenter and founder of The Home Genie, says: 'Too many of us are ditching perfectly decent items of furniture rather than recycling or repurposing them. This doesn’t just create hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste, it’s also a waste of money when you consider how expensive brand new furniture is.'

To mark the start of National Home Improvement Week (12–18 March), Georgina has made a series of beginner’s guides to upcycling – giving simple advice and inspiration to help you transform old pieces of furniture into items you can use – and cherish – in the home.

'Upcycling is an easy way to rejuvenate tired or dated furniture – and new materials mean it can be done for next to nothing, and with little or no past experience,' adds Georgina.

'There is a misconception that upcycling and repairing furniture is difficult, or requires lots of special tools and creative flair. This simply isn’t the case, as upcycling can be fun and quick; in as little as half an hour, you can transform an old chair or table into a nearly new piece of furniture you will enjoy every day.'

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