‘Fantastic opportunity’: Circular economy hub tackling food and plastic waste to launch in Hackney Wick

Prospective applicants for The Loop outside 119 Wallis Road. Photograph: courtesy HWFI CDT

An “innovative” circular economy hub is set to launch in Hackney Wick in the new year – filled with businesses and community groups trying to tackle food and plastic waste.

The Loop will move in to 119 Wallis Road as part of an agreement between Hackney Wick and Fish Island Community Development Trust (HWFI CDT) and developer Halcyon.

It will remain at the site until Halcyon brings forward its wider plans to transform a stretch of buildings from 115 to 119 Wallis Road.

The hub will be run by ReRoute, a group created by HWFI CDT to coordinate local efforts in the fight against climate change.

ReRoute will use The Loop to test and grow ideas aimed at reducing waste and emissions in the area, as well as to connect businesses with like-minded peers.

It will be a space for people to work, host events, and demonstrate their circular economy products.

The European Parliament defines a circular economy as “model of production and consumption which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible”.

It adds: “In practice, it implies reducing waste to a minimum.”

119 Wallis Road, where The Loop will be based. Photograph: courtesy HWFI CDT

Alex Russell, executive director of HWFI CDT, said: “Accessing a warehouse in the heart of Hackney Wick to showcase this innovative project and get people involved is a fantastic opportunity.

“We are grateful to Halcyon Development Partners for working with us to bring the project alive.

“We see lots of ways we can work with the community, local business and innovators to secure more spaces across East London like this to deliver sustainable initiatives and engage more people in this agenda.

“The more we can demonstrate at a small scale or for a temporary period, the more momentum we build.”

According to the Trust, having a physical site will mean circular economy businesses have better access to the community, allowing them, for example, to test their products in the area or find new uses for locally-generated waste.

Harry Manley, head of planning at Halcyon, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the HWFI CDT and are excited to see The Loop come forward on our site.

“We are keen to ensure the site promotes local activation and vitality, and The Loop project will bring significant innovation for the benefit of the local community and economy.”

HWFI CDT has been working on ReRoute for more than two years, having successfully secured funding from the Greater London Authority and the London Legacy Development Corporation to develop it.

Earlier this year, the Trust launched the Textile Reuse Hub at the Trampery on Fish Island.

It provides a physical space for textile reuse initiatives and community education, and supports young people from the local area in establishing their own businesses using a sustainable approach.

For more information, visit rerouteuk.com or wickcdt.org.