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Recycling Week 2018 is underway 24 – 30 September

Written by Sarah Turner

Waste & Resources Action Programme, WRAP, is running Recycle Week 2018 from 24th – 30th September!

The event demonstrates the benefits of recycling household items with the aim of encouraging the public to get involved and recycle more.

It also calls for local authorities and organisations to get involved, as we all do our part to combat environmental issues and wastefulness.

Recycling matters

Organised by WRAP, under the “Recycle Now” brand, the movement is now in its 15th year!

This year’s theme is, “Recycling. We do. Because it matters.” The bold statement is attention-grabbing and simply explains how important recycling is.

Many consumers now care about the environment and the harm plastics are doing to it – especially after documentaries such as Blue Planet II which bring to light the damage our marine environment is enduring.

Recycle Week helps consumers realise they can make a difference to environmental health by giving them practical advice and tips.

With handy lists reminding consumers which products in the home can be recycled, the week shows how easy it can be to make simple, impactful changes day-to-day!

How the UK stacks up

Despite ongoing rhetoric, the UK is under-performing on the global stage; the recycling rate from UK households is flat-lining. Recent figures place it at 45.2% - just a 0.6% increase from the prior year.

Commentators fear that without radical change, the UK will miss the EU’s target of 50% by 2020. For context, 99% of all household waste in Sweden is recycled.

Examples of excellence are everywhere. Beyond Scandinavia, countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Slovenia and Belgium all rank above the UK. Germany leads the way, while Wales is another strong performer.

England, by contrast, is performing poorly, with the government refusing to commit to a revised EU target to recycle 65% of urban waste by 2035.

It’s incumbent on all of us to do better, and awareness campaigns such as Recycle Week show how easy it is to make changes in everyday life, while pushing as many people as possible to do so.

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If everyone in the UK recycled one toothpaste box, it would save enough energy to run 2,000 fridges for a year!
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Where next?