This week the UK is celebrating Recycle Week 2019 (23-29 September) – events and campaigns are being run across the country to encourage people to take recycling action into their own hands.
letsrecycle.com has a round-up of Recycle Week news, featuring; Welsh government announce separate collection measures; Recycle Now urge action on contamination; Coca-Cola launches ‘circular’ ad campaign, and; Londoners recycle 62% more than a year ago.
Recycle Now urges action on contamination
More than 60% of UK households recycle more than they were a year ago, according to research released by Recycle Now for Recycle Week – yet the boost has been accompanied by an increase in recycling contamination too.
The new figures show that residents are recycling more plastic drinks, cleaner, toiletry and shampoo bottles, as well as glass and metal cans.
However items like nappies, toys and toothpaste tubes are also being incorrectly placed in the recycling bin more often – for Recycle Week, Recycle Now will be working with local authorities to target key contaminants in their area and help people understand what can be recycled in their kerbside collections.
Craig Stephens, Recycle Now campaign manager, said: “This year we want people to take recycling into their own hands. We know the public want to do as much as they can, so will be using Recycle Week to inspire people to take recycling into their own hands and act.”
The research also found that nearly a third of these people cite environmental concerns as the main driver for recycling more, whilst others attribute it to an increased awareness of what can be recycled.
Welsh government announces separate collection measures
New measures to improve business recycling rates have been announced by the Welsh Government to mark the start of Recycle Week 2019.
Hannah Blythyn, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, has launched a consultation which includes proposals for new regulations to require any non-domestic premises to separate their recyclable materials from residual waste.
Companies or local authorities who collect waste would be required to collect recyclable materials separately and keep them separate. Businesses will also be banned from disposing of food waste via the sewer.
Ms Blythyn said: “We have set ourselves ambitious targets for 70% of waste to be recycled by 2025 and to achieve this we all have to play our part.
“The new proposals for regulations being published today under Part 4 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 will help and support businesses to meet this target. I hope all those affected by these regulations that we propose to introduce will take part in the consultation and give us their views.
She added that meeting the new targets would help Wales to progress towards a circular economy, which would have positive benefits for the economy, jobs and the environment.
Coca-Cola launches ‘circular’ ad campaign
Coca-Cola Great Britain has launched a new advertising campaign encouraging recycling of the brand’s plastic bottles.
The campaign has been timed to coincide with Recycle Week – which will also see the Coca-Cola London Eye lit up green on Wednesday.
The adverts highlight the 100% recyclability of Coca-Cola’s bottles, Sprite’s move from green to clear plastic to make it easier to recycle and GLACÉAU Smartwater’s decision to become Coca-Cola’s first brand to move to bottles made from 100% recycled plastic.
The advert features Coca-Cola brands and information interweaved into circular artwork, referencing the company’s commitment to developing a circular economy.
Kris Robbens, marketing director at Coca-Cola Great Britain, said: “As well as taking action to make our packaging as sustainable as possible, it’s important that we use our marketing and communications to encourage more people to recycle our bottles after they have enjoyed the drink.
“They are more likely to do this if they know they can be turned into new bottles again. Across all of our brands we want to use more recycled material in all of our packaging, however that requires more of it to be collected so that it can be reused to make new bottles.”
Merseyside highlights recycling options
The Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA) will be using Recycle Week to highlight the options for recycling available to residents living in the Liverpool city region.
MRWA will work with district councils to deliver roadshows across the area as part of the Recycle Right campaign. Recycle Right was launched in 2018 to help tackle key recycling issues, such as bagged waste and contamination.
Councillor Tony Concepcion, chairperson of MRWA, said: “We all know that recycling is a big environmental concern at the moment. Recycle Right was launched to help people change their recycling behaviour.
“Most local residents do the right things at the right time, but with the region’s recycling level at 37.79% there is clearly more we can all do and it’s our job to make sure people have the right information to help them do it.”
During Recycle Week MRWA will be using social media to remind people of what they can recycle and where. ‘Good news stories’ about community groups and the MRWA’s 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) will be published too.
Londoners recycle 62% more than a year ago
Londoners recycle 62% more than they did a year ago, according to new data released by London Recycles, the capital’s recycling awareness campaign.
Despite this boost London Recycles is asking people in the capital to do more and hopes to seize on the enthusiasm of the almost third of Londoners who said their main reason for recycling was concern about the environment.
This Recycle Week London Recycles is highlighting the climate impact that recycling can have – it says that recycling one bleach bottle can save enough energy to power a street light for six and a half hours.
Events organised in London for Recycle Week include “clean graffiti” in Liverpool Street and Shoreditch, a litter pick in Hackney and an event in Greenwich where single use bottles can be traded in for reusable ones.
Ali Moore, Campaign Manager at London Recycles, said: “With more and more Londoners wanting to take positive action to help the environment, one simple but significant step we can all take is to make sure we get our recycling right.
“Recycling an item rather than throwing it in the rubbish bin means that it will be dealt with in the most environmentally friendly way, keeping materials in use. If each of us re-used or recycled just one more thing each day, it would make a huge difference.”