Prague hopes to launch ecological flea market

Goods that are still usable will be resold by the city rather than going to a landfill

Prague is looking for a place to open a re-use center where people can get rid of functional things they no longer need. The goods would be sold by the city at a symbolic price. This ecological flea market will keep the items from winding up in landfills.

The sort of articles that could be found at an ecological flea market include furniture, clothing, household goods, appliances, board games, books, phonograph records, CDs and DVDs.

The location has not yet been decided. The market in Holešovice has been considered, but politicians there opposed it as they have other plans for the space. The lack of a location is delaying the plan.

But some people are enthusiastic that a site will be found. “This is a step in fulfilling the concept of 'reduce, reuse, and recycle.' We are trying to reduce the amount of waste as well encourage reuse,” City Councilor Jana Plamínková (STAN) told Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD). She added that she saw a similar project in Vienna, which has been running for a long time.

A reuse center has also been running in Brno since June 2016 and has been used by thousands of people.

Brno Deputy Mayor Martin Ander (Greens) said that the market in that city has been successful. “The number of articles cannot be precisely determined; often it is a set of dishes or a collection of books, but we are talking about thousands of items articles,” he told MfD. He added that often they were common but useful items that had been gathering dust in basements, including shoes, utensils, sports gear, baby carriages and bicycles.

Prague wants to follow the same model as Brno, and connect the reuse center with a waste collection yard. Unwanted items could be sorted and those that are still usable could be put up for sale.

Brno in one year earned a total of Kč 174,000 by selling items for between Kč 10 and Kč 100. Brno uses money for planting flower beds. Prague plans to give the money to the urban waste management system, according to MfD.

The trend of a more ecological lifestyle that reduces waste has been catching on in Prague. Stores have opened recently that sell good without packaging, and people have to bring their own containers or bags to buy goods in bulk by weight. These goods include foods and cosmetics such as soaps and shampoo. There are also two separate “libraries of things” where people can borrow a wide range of items from board games and sporting goods to cameras and cooking pots. Many of the items are things that people only need a few times a year and store for the rest of the time.

There are also traditional flea markets in Prague at several locations.

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