It’s National Recycle Week once again and this year’s event takes place from today until Sunday 26th September. As a nation we’re slowly getting better, with plenty more options to go plastic-free, but there’s still so much more we can do.
And while our recycling habits may be improving, we’re still producing more and more waste each year, so it remains as important as ever to raise awareness.
We all love earth, right? Well, it’s not in the best condition right now and while we can’t fix it overnight, or by ourselves, there are plenty of little changes we can all make to prevent it from getting worse. Our oceans are overrun with plastic and wildlife across the planet is suffering. The world as we know it is under threat and it’s time to make a change.
What can we do to make a difference this Recycle Week?
Simply put, cut down on your waste. There are so many options to go plastic-free at the supermarket, whether it’s buying loose vegetables or getting a reusable water bottle, as well as only buying the food that you need. You can also reduce your paper waste by going paperless with things like bank statements and utility bills.
Ready to start using your imagination? There are so many ways we can reuse everyday things around the house. Finished with a jam jar? Wash it out and use it to store herbs and spices. Treated yourself to a cheeky takeaway? Keep the plastic boxes for storing food in the freezer. Toilet roll tubes can be used to organise cables and empty wine bottles can be turned into homemade candles. The possibilities are endless!
Everyday recycling is a must and you can pop your recyclable waste into the bins provided by the council or take it to your local recycling bank. But it’s not just paper and plastic – you’d be surprised at how much is able to be recycled, including batteries and old mobile phones. Even cars can be recycled, with up to 80% of the parts kept to create a shiny new motor.
Still not convinced to play your part? Maybe these fun (and some not so fun!) facts will change your mind in time for Recycle Week…
Recycle Week Facts
- Plastic packaging accounts for almost 70% of the plastic waste in the UK. This is how switching to plastic-free options where possible will make a huge difference!
- 13 billion plastic bottles are thrown away every single year! Recycling just one bottle can save enough energy to light a 60W lightbulb for up to 6 hours.
- Who doesn’t love a lazy Sunday in front of the TV? Recycling one aluminium can will save enough energy to run your television for three hours – that’s three whole episodes of Breaking Bad!
- A whopping 1.2 million tonnes of plastic packaging are used by UK households each year – but only 37% of it is recycled.
- As a nation we throw away more than 7 million tonnes of food and drink. This costs the average family £420 each year.
- Meanwhile, each household could save the same energy it takes to create a whole year’s supply of food simply by turning the heating down by 2 degrees or by driving one less mile each day
- Up, up and away! If we stacked all of the aluminium cans that we throw away each year, we’d have enough to build three separate can towers that would reach the moon.
- Every year we cut down 4 billion trees to use for paper, which is the equivalent of around 1% of the Amazon Rainforest – but we can save 17 trees for every tonne of paper that we recycle.
- Also, by recycling your daily newspaper, you can save your own bodyweight in paper each year.
- Remember the days when we didn’t have to pay for bags in the supermarket? Well, since the government introduced the plastic bag tax in 2015, we use around 83% fewer single-use bags.
Ready to make a change? Play your part this year for National Recycle Week to help us make the world a better place.