Even though we all have calendars brimming with exciting stuff, there is always room for something more, and what could be better than Recycling Week?
Waste is an enormous issue that has been slowly creeping up for a couple of centuries, and is now charging at us like a deranged tiger. Waste in the form of commercialised packaging has been around since the Victorians, who were keen on single-use glass bottles and gleefully hurling their discarded ones into small landfill sites. Unbroken Victorian glassware may now have a certain monetary value, but the same won’t ever be said for the millions of tons of plastic milk containers that we now see fit to bury. Out of sight may be out of mind but in the end we all suffer.
Luckily, the backlash against the rising tide of detritus we produce is growing at an accelerated rate; we are just to save the day. Some would argue that it’s too little too late, but human resolve is strong, and when we set our minds to something, we get it done.
Recycle week is the latest tool to help keep focus on the dreadful waste that humans produce. Recycle Week 2023 will take held between October 16 and 22, 2023. The Big Recycling Hunt's focus this year is on missed capture, and items that can be recycled but are frequently overlooked in the home.
The UK alone generates 26 million tonnes of waste every year, with the average person discarding around 400kg of waste annually. The good news from that startling statistic is that we in the UK now recycle around 45% of the waste generated. And remember, currently not everything is recyclable – a large part of that 26 million tonnes will include food waste.
Food is a bit of an issue as, until fairly recently, collected food waste was simply sent to landfill where it rotted and created copious amounts of planet-busting methane. However, a growing number of local authorities are now using this was as a source of fuel or fertilizer, and food is joining the list of recycled products.
We are doing well, with our recycling, but more needs to be done to pull us back from the brink. This is where initiatives such as Recycle week can help push us forward. Recycle Week has provided the nation's greatest recycling behaviour change campaign since 2004. Recycle Week has pushed individuals to recycle using an ambitious mix of film, social media, on-the-ground projects, influencers, radio, and public relations. It’s a one-stop shop for all things recycling, and a rousing call to do more.
This year marks the 20th year of Recycle Week, which will encourage children, families, and entire communities to participate. The campaign will have two unique components. It will be encouraging the country's children to participate in enjoyable activities during Recycle Week, to help instil the need to recycle in them from an early age. But equally importantly, the week will focus on the need for local governments and private companies to communicate the fundamental message.
Primary schools in England and Northern Ireland can sign up for The Action Pack to get instructions on how to get involved. Local governments, brands, and shops can support the Big Recycling Hunt by signing up to receive campaign information and access to the campaign toolkit when the week launches.
We at Hawkins and Brimble are proud that we are committed to making all of our packaging fully recyclable. All our cardboard packaging is made from 100% recycled board and we don’t use any plastic in our transit packaging and will keep it that way. Hawkins and Brimble were one of the first global brands to transfer all of our plastic packaging to aluminium or glass.
Recycling Week is about continued education and going the extra mile that the planet needs. By putting recycling firmly in the public eye, it is hopes that the impetus can be maintained, and we will all learn to recycle more. Participate in Recycle Week, and see how many things that you can find in the home that aren’t currently recycled.