Can you believe that since Recycle Week started 10 years ago over 50 billion plastic drinks bottles have been recycled – that’s enough bottles, laid end-to-end, to stretch to the moon and back more than 10 times over!
This is not the only impressive fact that’s come to light as Recycle Week – the national event to encourage more people to recycle more things more often – celebrates its 10th anniversary.
During the same period, local authority recycling schemes across the UK have collected materials like card, paper, plastic and glass worth a staggering £2.4 billion.
Paper and card worth around £1 billion
Plastic worth around £339 million
Mixed cans worth around £174 million
Mixed glass worth around £153 million
Textiles worth around £124 million
Launched as ‘The BIG Recycle’, the annual event has played an important role in helping consumers understand what can and can’t be recycled in a decade which has seen huge changes and improvements to recycling collections and services.
“As a nation, we’ve come a long way since we first began to take recycling seriously,” said WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin.
“This is good news for the environment – it means we’re sending less waste to landfill and making better use of the natural materials that go into the products we use every day.
“It is also hugely important for our economy. The UK recycling sector now generates more than £13 billion a year in sales of recycled materials, employs more than 40,000 people and contributes around £3 billion-worth of additional value each year to the UK economy.
“The sector has also increased its sales revenue threefold since 1998, outstripping growth in the overall economy over the same period of time.”
“This progress is thanks to huge effort by the public, local councils, businesses, community groups and charities, many of whom use WRAP’s www.recyclenow.com and www.recyclenowpartners.org.uk websites, and Recycle Week’s resources to help them,’ said Liz.
“Given this progress, you may be asking whether we still need Recycle Week. The truth is, there’s still more we can all do to recycle more things, more often – to capture more of the valuable materials that are collected for recycling in our own area.
“For example, take the humble plastic bottle – householders are now recycling more than 50 per cent of these and most councils collect them now. This is great news, but that means there’s still about half ending up in landfill!”
Recycle Week 2013 starts this week (June 17-23) with a ‘recycle at home and away’ theme.
This covers packaging, metals, plastics, textiles and food waste collections. To help spread the message of how we can all do a little more, I’ll (hopefully) be appearing on ITV’s Daybreak during the week.
If you want to find out how you could do more, there’s lots of information on www.recyclenow.com including the fantastically helpful postcode locator, which enables you to check what you can recycle in your area. I’ve also included a fab ‘Can It be Recycled?’ widget on my homepage – so you’ll never be left guessing again.
I’ll also be sharing more top recycling facts throughout the week so keep a look out – that’s if I’m not snapped up to be Aled’s new presenting partner