Recycle Week 2017
Recycle Week 2017
by Ellen Thornton at 08:53 in Circular Economy, Packaging, Environmental
This week, 25th September to 1st October, is Recycle Week in the UK. This is the 14thannual recycling, this year with the theme of 'Recycling – It's Worth It!'. This week, organised by WRAP, aims to encourage the public to recycle more, by demonstrating the benefits of recycling from all around the home.
Currently only 14% of plastic reaches recycling plants, hence campaigns such as recycle week are crucial in educating the public on how and why they should recycle. The average person throws away their own body weight in rubbish every 7 weeks and hence in total every year, 18 million tonnes of waste is sent to a UK landfill site. There are many opportunities to save energy through recycling and using recycled materials in manufacturing as opposed to virgin materials. For example, 70% less energy is needed to manufacture paper from recycled materials compared to producing it from raw materials. Furthermore, researchers say that up to 80% of the things we throw away could easily be recycled or composted and the UK throws away at least £13 billion worth of food each year.
Unfortunately, not all plastics can be recycled, but as consumers we can be wise in choosing to purchase products with recyclable packaging. Plastic wrap, cling film, bubble wrap and plastic bags cannot be recycled and hence if possible should be avoided by choosing alternatives such as 'bags for life'. Often manufacturers will use packaging that is recyclable, however when multiple types of packaging are mixed together it makes them difficult to separate and they become worthless for recycling. Pringles and Lucozade are among the worst culprits for mixing materials. Black plastic trays used in meat packaging are also useless for recycling due to their carbon black pigments which prevent them from being sorted by optical sorting systems often used in plastics recycling. However, plastics such as LDPE, HDPE and PET in single layers are easily recycled, such as those found in milk bottles.
Spread the word
There is an array of resources online provided by WRAP to spread the word of Recycling Week. Furthermore, you can tweet about it with the hashtag #recycleweek2017. If you need any help with extended producer responsibility, please contact us here.
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