The Challenge

Currently we produce way too much waste that causes damage to our environment. We pollute the air when we make things. We increase carbon and greenhouse gas emissions when we dispose of the things we no longer want. And we pollute our land and rivers when our rubbish ends up as litter. We want to build a Circular Economy in Greater Manchester and stop the cycle of making, buying, using, and throwing away. A place where we make products that last longer, can be repaired, reused, and shared, and every bit can be easily recycled. To have a positive effect in Greater Manchester we need to:

  • Stop producing so much waste. Instead of making, using and throwing away, we need to re-use, mend and design things that are better for our planet.
  • Cut pollutants that factories and industry produce. Industrial emissions need to fall by just over a third by 2025 and up to two thirds by 2040.
  • Recycle all we can. Making sure we are putting the right things in the right bin. By 2035 we need to be recycling 65% of what we throw away. Now we are recycling just 48%.

There are small changes we can all make too. If each one of us made a change it would make a big difference!

Greater Manchester’s Circular Mission

The Greater Manchester Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Plan covers 4 key priority areas:

  • Moving to a Circular Economy; Managing Waste Sustainably; Reducing Food Waste; and Sustainable Lifestyles

It provides the framework for Greater Manchester’s key activities over the next few years and will be delivered by public, private, third sector and academic partners, formed under the Greater Manchester Mission Based Approach.

Read the full plan

Take a look at some of our work in Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Sustainable Textiles and Fashion Group

The Greater Manchester Sustainable Textiles and Fashion Group is dedicated to reducing the environmental footprint of textile and fashion consumption from the region. Its members include representatives from the manufacturing, retail, reprocessing and waste management sectors.

Renew: Preloved items for you, your home and garden

We’ve opened a Renew Hub and three Renew shops in Greater Manchester. The Renew Hub in Greater Manchester is the UK’s newest and most unique reuse operation in terms of opportunity and scale. The shops sell pre-loved household items at an affordable price and are located at three of our recycling centres.


PlasticFreeGM asks businesses, organisations and individuals to pledge to take action to reduce avoidable single use plastics across Greater Manchester. By making better choices about the products we use, the way we work, and the way we live our live, we can all make a positive change to our city-region.


We are on a mission to help schools and the wider community to be more sustainable by promoting refill and refuse. Our Eco-Refill pilot teaches pupils how to set up and operate an Eco refill shop selling refills of household products such as body wash and hand wash, with pupils encouraged to bring in containers to refill.

Buy Eat Keep Repeat

Over a ¼ of waste in the general rubbish bin at home is food. Keeping food out of the bin is not only better for the planet but it’s better for your pocket too. The ‘Buy, Keep, Eat, Repeat’ campaign offers simple tips to help everyone plan their meals better, store food correctly, use up leftovers and recycle or compost any avoidable food waste.

Refill Greater Manchester

Aiming to drastically reduce plastic pollution through single use plastic bottles, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Untied Utilities have joined forces with Refill Manchester to make free tap water accessible throughout the region and make Greater Manchester one of the greatest Refillable regions in the UK.

Good Food GM

The Good Food Greater Manchester partnership brings organisations together to help  our city-region strategically improve our food system. Together, we’re  tackling issues including procurement, food poverty, waste, environmental impacts, and diet-related illness.

Keep your waste #InTheLoop

Focused on educating residents across Greater Manchester about the circular economy. The campaign communicates the entire waste hierarchy with a focus on recycling and materials collected at the kerbside.  It highlights the role people are already playing in the waste journey and why it’s so important to keep things #InTheLoop.

One bin to rule them all

The project led by the University of Manchester looks at improving recycling by developing ‘One bin’ to collect all plastic items from households. It also looks at improving recycling infrastructure to help create more usable recycled plastics that can be fed back into a circular economy.


The REDUCES project funded by Interreg Europe aims to identify the best circular business models in six European cities and regions to guide Greater Manchester towards a circular city-region through activities related to Greater Manchester’s Sustainable, Consumption and Production (SCP) Plan.

Recycle for Greater Manchester

Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM) works with local councils in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford, to inspire and encourage the residents of Greater Manchester to manage their waste responsibly.

Community Fund

The Community Fund is a joint R4GM and Suez initiative, administered by the Greater Manchester Environment Fund, to support Greater Manchester community and voluntary sector groups. The fund helps to deliver projects aimed at reducing household waste, increasing recycling and encouraging reuse.

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