Recycle Week starts today (21 September) with the message ‘Together – We Recycle’.
The week’s launch has seen an endorsement from resources minister Rebecca Pow and publication of new data which is said to show more people are recycling.
Recycling in the UK has a “very exciting future”, resources minster Rebecca Pow said as she highlighted the launch of this year’s Recycle Week which runs from 21-27 September.
The minister’s comment came as the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) charity reported that new data shows that nearly 9 in 10 households ‘regularly recycle’.
The 9 in 10 figure comes from what the public told WRAP in research during July 2021.
The theme for the 17th annual Recycle Week is to thank the nation for continuing to recycle.
In a statement, WRAP said: “Despite all that has happened this year, under the banner ‘Together – We Recycle’. Statistics released by Recycle Now show that through lockdown the UK has become even more environmentally aware, with nearly 9 in 10 households saying they ‘regularly recycle’.
“Coming out of lockdown, more people are prepared to change their lifestyles to help the environment: 73%, up from 68% in 2019. And an amazing 93%of UK households say they believe that ‘everyone has a responsibility to help towards cleaning up the environment’.”
Peter Maddox, director, WRAP UK, said: “It’s fantastic to see that despite everything that has been thrown at them this year, more people than ever in the UK are taking responsibility for protecting the environment by choosing to recycle.”
“Our recycling and waste workers have been real heroes too”
Mr Maddox also pointed to the praise crews and other workers have received this year.
He said: “Our recycling and waste workers have been real heroes too, providing the best service possible under the most difficult of circumstances. The recognition they received in the form of friendly waves, notes, cards and gifts left out for them is heart-warming proof of how the nation has pulled together.”
And Mr Maddox added: “Recycle Week this year is an opportunity to thank everyone for continuing to recycle, whatever their circumstances and to celebrate the way we have all pulled together. There has been a positive leap forward in attitudes that we must capitalise on so we can do even better in the coming year!”
Landmarks across England including Blackpool Tower and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge are being lit up green to celebrate Recycle Week, and the City of London’s Tower 42 is to carry the Recycle Now ‘swoosh’.
WRAP said that local councils, businesses and other organisations are joining in with a range of activities to highlight the importance of recycling. “Everyone – organisations and individuals – can support Recycle Week by using #RecycleWeek on social media.”
Mrs Pow said: “I want to extend a huge thank you to all our key workers who kept the recycling and waste sector going through such a challenging few months, and to the public for their continued efforts in recycling more of what they use every day.
“Recycling more of our waste lies at the heart of this government’s agenda for creating a cleaner environment. We have a very exciting future ahead for recycling in the UK, and this year’s Recycle Week allows us to celebrate our progress during such a difficult year as well as to look forward to the future.”
Commercial donors are also providing funding for Recycle Week including waste management firm Suez and compliance organisation Eco Surety. Retailers and producers supporting the week are: Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Co-op, Britvic, Highland Spring, Unilever UK and Ireland, Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I, Danone, PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser, Waitrose, Aldi and SAP as well as organising their own events and activities during the Week.
WRAP is set to receive up to £50,000 from L’Oréal Paris Elvive which is running a campaign before, during and after Recycle Week, during which 50p from each of the first 100,000 bottles of Elvive hair products sold in Boots stores will be donated to Recycle Now.