Scots double up on the climate change fight by getting on their second-hand bikes

It’s well known that leaving the car at home and wheeling out the bike instead saves carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere. Due to lockdown, more Scots have been opting for two wheels instead of four, with demand for bikes on the rise. This has led to people searching out an even more planet friendly option – a second-hand bike.

Research by Zero Waste Scotland shows that if all bikes in the country were purchased second-hand, it would save a total of 23,400 tonnes of carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of taking 12,000 cars off the road for one year.

Manufacturing new products, whether it’s a bike or a book, leads to more planet-warming carbon emissions. Around four fifths of Scotland’s carbon footprint is attributed to the new products and materials we buy and use. Reducing the demand for new bikes by reusing ones already in existence will protect natural resources and reduce emissions.

Over 5000 bicycles were bought in Revolve certified second-hand stores across Scotland over 2019 and 2020, contributing to a carbon saving of over 600 tonnes. The saving, which is compared to buying new, is the equivalent of taking 321 cars off the road for a year.

Catherine Bozec, Consumer Campaigns Manager for Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“It’s great to see more Scots are purchasing pre-loved bikes. By shopping second-hand, we reduce the volume of new products that need to be created, meaning fewer greenhouse gas and carbon creating processes take place.

“We must reduce our carbon footprint before it’s too late and shopping second-hand supports that. Buying a bike at a Revolve certified store instead of new reduces your carbon footprint and supports local charities and social enterprises. It really is a win-win.”

Awarded by Zero Waste Scotland, the Revolve certification is Scotland’s quality guarantee for pre-loved items. It gives shoppers the confidence that they will receive quality products and excellent customer service.

There are ten Revolve certified stores across Scotland selling second-hand bikes. The bikes are checked and, where required, refurbished in line with high quality and safety standards before going on the shop floor.

Five Revolve certified bicycle stores adapted their operations during the coronavirus pandemic, bringing in new procedures to ensure they were able to continue to serve the local communities. Several stores, including Bike For Good and The Bike Station introduced new schemes to support key workers and those on the front line during lockdown. The Bike Station’s Hero Bikes scheme offered free bikes to NHS staff and other key workers, while Bike for Good launched a bike loan scheme to ensure key workers could travel to work safely.

For anyone wishing to find out more about Revolve, please visit the website for a list of stores and contact details: