20 December 2000

Government campaign spreads recycling message for Christmas festivities

The government campaign to promote a better approach to the environment by the public has issued a call for everyone to “Make your dustman’s Christmas a happier one” by lightening his 2.25 million tonne load.

The statement from the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions says that this Christmas, families across the country are likely to have eaten, drunk and unwrapped their way towards creating 2.25 million tonnes of festive rubbish.

The “are you doing your bit?” campaign says this equates to almost 40kg (88lbs) of rubbish for each man, woman and child. “All this adds up to an unwelcome extra burden for dustmen returning after their Christmas break, and much of this rubbish could be recycled or reused.”

By the end of the Christmas festivities, “are you doing your bit?” predicts that households across the country will have used and, unless they recycle, thrown away:

  • 35.5 million glass containers, such as bottles and jars
  • 2.1 million aluminium cans
  • 1,417 tonnes of aluminium foil
  • 12.5 million dustbins full or 270,000 tonnes of packaging;
  • 33 million domestic batteries
  • 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper – enough to cover an area larger
    than Guernsey.

The campaign says: “But there is no need for all of this to end up in your dustbin. In just over a week, we produce enough rubbish to fill the old Wembley Stadium, over half of which can be recycled, and this Christmas, everyone can &#39d;o their bit' for the environment (and their dustman) by taking a few quick and easy steps. For example, vegetable peelings can be put on the compost heap
and cans, bottles, paper and jars left over from the festive celebrations
can be reused or recycled through your local council.”

Recycling helps the environment

The “are you doing your bit?” spokeswoman and celebrity, Michaela Strachan, said:

“It's amazing how much extra rubbish we produce at Christmas yet, with the tiniest bit of effort, we can all &#39d;o our bit' to help lessen its impact on the
environment. Recycling helps the environment by reducing the need for landfill, in turn reducing methane emissions which helps stop global warming. Simple actions such as taking
empty bottles to the bottle bank and composting vegetable peelings can also make a big difference.

“And don't forget, you'll be making your dustman's Christmas a happier one too!”

The “are you doing your bit?” campaign is backed by 25 million of funding over three years by the DETR.
Links: are you doing your bit? and
use it again.

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