It is National Recycling week from the 18-24 June and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk is working in partnership with the campaign which, this year, is themed ‘Plastic fantastic’.
We’ve been using plastic bottles for 65 years and because of water, soft drinks, shampoo, bleach, olive oil and everything in between, we get through a staggering 15 million of them every day in the UK alone . The humble plastic bottle has never been so much in demand, and now, thanks to the upcoming summer of sport and celebration, demand is set to soar even further.
It’s not just the prospect of street parties, barbecues and associated merriment, there’s the small matter of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games; spectating will be thirsty work for the nine million ticket-holders and estimated 38 million TV viewers over the 30 days of competition. We will also have the Olympic Torch on our doorstep, as it comes through Kings Lynn and surrounding areas in July .
In short, 2012 is set to be a bumper year for plastic bottles. Sadly however, currently less than 50 per cent of them are making it to the recycling bin, national Recycle Week wants to turn it into a bumper year for collecting them.
The annual recycling push, running from 18-24 June this year, reminds us all of the value of recycling and just how easily we can do it. For 2012, the campaign wants us to think twice before putting our plastic bottles into the rubbish bag – because now, thanks to technology, it’s possible to recycle ALL shapes and sizes of bottle including milk, shampoo, bleach, shower gel, and even plastic bottles used outside in the garden or kept in the shed.
UK households dispose of around 4.9 million tonnes of packaging every year, but recycling just one tonne of plastic bottles saves 1.5 tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. To put this into perspective, if all of us in the UK recycled just one extra plastic bottle during Recycle Week, this would save enough energy to power over 71,000 plasma screen TVs for a year. Recycling also benefits the environment by significantly reducing air and water pollutants.
So what happens to bottles during recycling? They’re first separated by colour, cleaned, melted down and then turned into plastic pellets. These are used to make fences, bags, flooring, window frames, fleeces, fibre fillings… or even more bottles!
Cllr Brian Long, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “National Recycling Week is an excellent opportunity to really think about what we do with our waste. Plastic bottles are collected from our residents’ homes every 2 weeks, and it is good to have the opportunity to reinforce just how important it is that we do put our bottles in the correct bin, ensuring that they go to good use and are not just thrown into landfill.”
While we are thinking about ‘Plastic Fantastic,’ we must make sure that we put our recyclable items into the bin loose. When we put any of our recycling into carrier bags, it means that that waste can’t get sorted, so immediately gets sent to landfill – not so fantastic. We also need to remember that we cannot collect hard plastic like yoghurt pots and margarine tubs from your home. These contaminates should not go into our recycle bins.
There’s no need to wait until Recycle Week every year….we can make a difference every day.
Let’s get recycling sorted together.
For more information on recycling with the borough council please visit http://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/refuseandrecycling
• Before recycling please rinse your bottles out
• Bottle tops can be recycled too
• You don’t need to remove the labels as this is done as part of the recycling
• Remember, bottles from the bathroom can be recycled too, introduce 2 small bathroom bins, or even better a recycling bin!