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Munich develops a secondhand store to kickstart its local circular economy

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City of Munchen - Guenther Langer

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Halle 2 is a municipal secondhand store that combines circular economy with the idea of actively supporting sustainable lifestyles in Munich. By selling goods that are collected at the 12 Munich recycling centres, Halle 2 extends the lifespan of useful everyday items such as electronic devices, bicycles and textiles.

Based on a strong partnership with educational institutions, non-profits and voluntary organisations, Halle 2 is also a good example for active societal responsibility. It offers qualification and training on job perspectives at social enterprises for special target groups, such as young or long-term unemployed people. But Halle 2 is not just a secondhand shop. It also provides a testbed for developing and testing new ways to increase the number of reused items, thus contributing to raising the awareness of waste reduction and secondhand use of items.

Halle 2 is a good example of a broad collaboration between very different stakeholders and interest groups from different branches. By bringing a wide spectrum of outstanding knowledge, all the actors have together produced a very attractive offer for citizens.


Using a secondhand shop as a circular economy laboratory for the city was one of the main challenges faced during Halle 2 project. Led by the positive experience of Munich Waste Management Cooperation’s (AWM) paper and organic recycling circle, Munich has searched for an innovative idea to bring the circular economy into citizens’ everyday lives. However, many residents still perceived the circular economy as an abstract political concept  without any implication for real life. This was reflected in the difficulty of coordinating the various usage concepts the stakeholders proposed, while at the same presenting an attractive offer to customers and users.

Tendering social entrepreneurs and implementing stable supply chain management was another difficulty the project faced. Since the recycling of items has become a profitable activity for Halle 2, the AWM had to develop contracts with the partners involved in the project. The example demonstrates the added value of the circular economy model, where reusing, sharing and cooperating are concrete opportunities for generating jobs and growth.

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Halle 2 has allowed the city of Munich to implement all the pillars of a successful and sustainable circular economy. Indeed, it not only became a vital part of the waste prevention activities of the AWM but also allowed Munich to achieve their strategic targets in reducing the amount of waste, promoting the reuse of goods, improving recycling rates and strengthening a sustainable lifestyle for its citizens.

The model of success of Halle 2 is the systematic cooperation with Munich initiatives, which enrich the thematic horizon of the secondhand store. Halle 2 has become a strong brand as a secondhand store that facilitates the cooperation with social companies to make their activities more visible. It is used for campaigns, auctions, repair cafes, research fields, upcycling activities and other events to promote reuse and recycling ideas.

The tremendous success of the project can also be measured using the number of visitors in the shop and the number of reused items. 3,500 people monthly have visited Halle 2 since the beginning of 2017 and the project expects these figures to increase to 6,000 people per month in 2020. In terms of recycled and upcycled products, Halle 2 has sold almost 15,000 articles per month with an estimated revenue of €50,000 per month. The last figure is particularly relevant and demonstrates the value of reused goods and materials and the potential that a circular model can offer to our economy.


1. Always be transparent

By presenting people how circular economy works, cities can succeed in bringing citizens on board, ensuring a profitable cooperation. Munich had success with the organic and paper circles and now aims to explain to citizens the reuse and upcycle circle.

2. Attract different society groups

Munich tried to attract and connect different groups of the society to support the idea of waste prevention and waste reuse. Indeed, Halle 2 was used as a space for cultural and educational events, making people indirectly aware of the importance of circular economy.

3. Don’t be a competitor but cooperate with business

Munich cooperated with existing groups, networks, nonprofit organisations, school projects and social enterprises, rather than be a competitor in the market. In this way, Halle 2 offered a space for showcasing their activities and gain extra visibility.

4. Make your project sustainable

Munich organised the Halle 2 project as a profit centre, seeking to make the project sustainable in the long run. Indeed, a business model that creates revenue is essential to ensure the effectiveness of projects aiming to stimulate a circular economy model.