Plastic fantastic – wash & squash this Recycle Week
Published on Wednesday 20th June 2012
We’ve been using it for 65 years and between water and soft drinks, shampoo and bleach, and olive oil to garden fertiliser, 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 further.
It's not just the prospect of summer 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. And we've not even touched on keeping cool while watching Wimbledon from Murray Mount, Euro 2012 on giant outdoor screens or the usual festival circuit.
In short, 2012 is set to be a bumper year for plastic bottles. But with less than 50 per cent of them currently making the recycling bin, national Recycle Week wants to turn it into a bumper year for collecting them too.
The now-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, it wants us to think twice before jettisoning our plastic bottles into the rubbish bag - because now, thanks to technology, it's possible to recycle ALL shapes and sizes of bottle. Milk, shampoo, bleach, shower gel, and even plastic bottles used outside in the garden or kept in the shed. You name it; all you have to do is wash 'em and squash 'em.
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!
So, as recycling plastic bottles is now easier than ever, let's start washing, squashing and recycling all our plastic bottles. And there's no need to wait until Recycle Week....we can make a difference now.
Find out more at www.wyre.gov.uk/recycling.
Rate this page
Give us your feedback on this page!