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Recycling Week 2020 – Together We Recycle

Paper Round Recycling
23 September 2020

Now in its 17th year, Recycle Week is a celebration and encouragement of recycling – in 2020, WRAP under the Recycle Now brand are thanking people for continued efforts during the pandemic. 

This coincides with Fire Door Safety Week, together drawing attention to safety of both ourselves and the planet.

“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."

– Peter Maddox
Director, WRAP UK

Statistics released by Recycle Now show that through lockdown the UK has become even more environmentally aware, with nearly nine in ten households saying they regularly recycle. Coming out of lockdown, more people are prepared to change their lifestyles to help the environment: 73 per cent, up from 68 per cent in 2019. And an amazing 93 per cent of UK households say they believe that everyone has a responsibility to help towards cleaning up the environment. The figures come from research carried out during lockdown and an omnibus survey completed in July.

Under the banner #TogetherWeRecycle, this year’s campaign aim is to recognise the sacrifices that key workers and citizens have made to keep recycling going and create positive change in the world around us. Our recycling and waste key workers have heroically carried on collecting while the world slowed down around them. 

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. This is something we can all do, wherever we live – an individual action that, when performed by everyone, adds up to a huge change.

In 2019, Recycle Week reached a whopping 16 million people on digital channels alone including an inspirational collaboration with LADbible. An impressive 91 per cent of people who saw the campaign said they recycled more than in the previous year. Their 2019 showreel can be watched following this years promotional clip below– Our Unsung Heroes.




Paper Round Progress from Mixed Recycling Confusion

Leading London and South East commercial recycling specialist Paper Round has announced that it will stop using the term mixed recycling for any of its co-mingled collection services. The company will rename its co-mingled services “Paper, Cans and Plastic Containers” which it argues has the benefit of a name that "does what it says on the bin."

The decision to make this change followed an analysis of over 100 detailed waste audits the company conducted in which mixed recycling bins from offices were found to have average contamination rates of 35 per cent. The main contaminants were non-recyclable general waste and food. The company believes that recycling scheme users don’t know what the term mixed recycling means and so throw all kinds of materials into mixed bins in hope for the best.

The renamed Paper, Cans and Plastic Containers service will launch alongside a refreshed suite of communications materials and will introduce their new motto, Clean and Dry, designed to further improve the quality of the materials collected.


Picture: mixed recyclable waste

The company has also published data demonstrating how the corporate workplace can benefit further by getting "paper out" of co-mingled streams. Its analysis of mixed recycling found that about 30-35 per cent of the content was paper and card. Where offices provided users with specific paper and card bins, 90 per cent or more of the available paper and card was correctly placed in the dedicated bins with minimal contamination – less than five per cent. 

The company suggests this provides evidence that where the bin type is clear, better outcomes are achieved.

Paper Round is making the changes to mixed recycling to coincide with Recycle Week 2020, with the campaign slogan: #RecyclingWeSeparate. The company are hosting the webinar “Calling Time on Mixed Up Recycling”, 22 September, featuring the Confederation of Paper Industries.

Bill Swan, MD of Paper Round commented: “We have always argued that source separation is best to meet the needs of the circular economy by providing quality materials that can have a useful second life. The data we are releasing today clearly supports this point. We think the term mixed recycling is at best confusing. As an industry we must move away from that term, and we should go one step further and get paper and card into separate collections wherever that is possible.”

Corporate Social Responsibility

Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Co-op, Britvic, Highland Spring, Unilever UK and Ireland, Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I , Danone, PepsiCo, Reckitt Benckiser, Eco Surety, Suez, Waitrose, Aldi and SAP are providing funding to help inspire citizens to recycle more of the right things, more often. Many are also organising their own events and activities during the Week.

Iconic landmarks across the country including the London Eye, The Blackpool Tower and Gateshead Millennium Bridge are being lit up green to celebrate Recycle Week, and the City of London’s Tower 42 will carry the Recycle Now symbol. Local councils, businesses and other organisations are joining in with a range of activities to highlight the importance of recycling. 

Everyone can support Recycle Week by using #RecycleWeek on social media – organisations and individuals can make use of WRAP’s resource page for materials and details of how to get involved further in the partner pack, helping to make a high impact.

For example, L’Oréal Paris Elvive 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.

Picture: a Paper Round recycling plant.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 23 September 2020


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