Working with Packshare – Cambridge Junction

Cambridge Junction was one of the first businesses outside of Cornwall to get in touch with us about using Packshare to donate their waste. We were delighted to get their email, and anxious to help with their issue of raising awareness of Packshare in their local area to make sure they could connect with businesses to donate to.

In Cornwall we’ve started to take it for granted that there will be a nearby business signed up to receive packaging. But as Packshare grows, more and more businesses and individuals around the UK are seeing the benefits of donating their packaging and getting in touch to say that they need to find more businesses in their towns to donate it to!

Cambridge Junction is a multi-venue arts centre with an extremely varied range of performances, workshops and events happening every day. Located in the South West of Cambridge, the centre is housed in stylish modern architecture built in 1990 and expanded in 2005. Between their three venues – Junction 1, 2, and 3 – they host live music, comedy, theatre, dance , club nights, and a variety of other community-focussed activities.

They are a social enterprise, and reinvest over 50% of their profits back into the business and its social mission to promote:

  • Arts development and presentation (contemporary theatre and dance)
  • Popular culture (live music, comedy and clubs)
  • Creative Learning (skills development through the arts)

The venue is many things to many people, incorporating art, community and technology to provide a space which is safe and welcoming for everybody.

You could come here for a drum & bass club night, to watch a piece of modern circus, or attend computer coding workshop. Cambridge Junction is the venue where art and technology meets life.”

Unsurprisingly they also take their responsibility to the environment seriously, joining 100s of other arts and cultural organisations in April 2019 to officially declare a Climate Emergency, with an ultimate goal of reducing their emissions to net zero by 2025. They’re undergoing large-scale projects to make their practise and buildings more sustainable, but they also see the importance of smaller, faster, more community-focused solutions.

Aiming to reduce the 127,000 disposable glasses they used in their gig venue last year, they bought 5000 re-usable pint cups to replace them going into the future. Their new scheme asks customers to pay £1 deposit for the cup which they can reuse throughout the night and claim back when returned to the bar, or drop the cup in a special reuse bin when they leave to automatically donate the money to charity.

This has the potential for a massive reduction in plastic waste going forward, especially as they’ve coupled it with replacing all plastic water bottles at their bars for cardboard box ‘bottles’.

Additionally all staff have been issued re-usable water bottles while on shift, and the centre held a ‘mug amnesty’ amongst the staff to replace all mugs used in the building (which used to be primarily single use disposable ones) for real ones.

Cambridge Junction also holds a huge variety of community events, recently hosting A Toys Life’s toy-swap initiative Re-play. October’s event was a free to attend toy-swap augmented with debate, conversation and activities for all, and an opportunity to discuss the environmental impact of plastics and other materials used for toys. Re-play will be returning to Cambridge Junction in May.

To find out more about Cambridge Junction’s community events check here for their full schedule:

A Toys Life toy swap initiative Re-play returns to Cambridge Junction in May 2020

These links between community and environment are where Packshare fits in. As a large venue, Cambridge Junction receive a wide range of deliveries, from bar and cleaning supplies, publicity materials, through to interesting pieces of theatre sets or specific items for band riders. All of this arrives wrapped in packaging materials which are surplus to requirements as soon as they’re unwrapped.

Cambridge Junction recognise the potential of working with Packshare to donate this perfectly good packaging to businesses in their community, saving everybody money and keeping that packaging from being needlessly recycled or thrown away.

All that stands in their way is that they can’t find enough local businesses to donate it to. They’re so keen to donate it that one member of staff has been posting packaging to a company in the South West!

We want to get more businesses in Cambridge signed up to Packshare to receive free packaging:

  • Do you run (or know someone who runs) a small business who buys in mail-order packaging?
  • Do you want to save money and integrate your business more in your local community?
  • Do you want to build up mutually beneficial business relationships?
  • Do you want to do something to significantly reduce the amount of waste packaging in your area?

You can sign up your businesses to receive packaging (wherever you are in the UK) at

Find out more about the amazing work that Cambridge Junction are doing at:

You can also sign up to the Packshare mailing list to be the first to hear our news.