Recycle Week: Get your recycling right to help save the planet

Picture of green recycling arrows and the Earth

Posted on: 24 September 2019

Devon residents are being urged to help protect the environment by continuing to improve Devon’s recycling rate by getting recycling right and improving what and how we recycle.

The call comes during National Recycle Week (23 – 29 September) lead by Recycle Now and supported by Recycle Devon.

With high profile protests and inspiration drawn from TV programmes like Our Planet and activists including Greta Thunberg, environmental concerns have never been so important to the nation.

For its 17th annual Recycle Week, Recycle Now wants people all over the UK to focus on getting recycling right during Recycle Week.

Over 60% of UK households are now recycling more than they were a year ago because of environmental concerns. In particular, more and more households are recycling beverage containers, plastic cleaner, toiletry and shampoo bottles.

However, householders sometimes incorrectly put items like nappies, toys and toothpaste tubes in the recycling bin.

This picture is reflected in Devon – while the county is at the top of the UK’s recycling tree (now recycling 56%, a 2% increase on last year), a lot of recyclable materials are still being put into general waste.

Residents are being asked to make the extra effort to ensure that food isn’t wasted and that their recyclables are separated properly and put into the right receptacles and caddies in preparation for their kerbside collections.

There are some simple things that we can all do:
Consider reducing the amount you throw away by choosing to reduce and reuse such as carrying a reusable water bottle and cup.
• Recycle more bathroom items like shampoo and shower gel bottles, toilet roll tubes and bathroom cleaners
• Make sure nappies and polystyrene never go in the recycling bin
• Nearly half of what we throw away is fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, dairy, rice and pasta.

Some of the common reasons for waste are buying too much, improper storage, not eating things in time and cooking too much. Steps including meal planning could reduce this.

And for residents unsure about how to recycle a specific item, where you live or for more tips on how to reduce and reuse, visit the  Recycle Devon website by clicking here.

Craig Stephens, campaign manager for Recycle Now, said: “This year we’ve all taken more notice of our impact on the environment, and realised that recycling is part of reducing that impact. Here in Devon it’s no different – more and more of us are recycling, so the next step is to make sure we get our recycling right. So come on, Devon, keep up the great work and let’s make recycling better than ever before!”

Councillor David Harvey, Chair of the Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee, said: “What and how we recycle really matters. Recycling an item rather than throwing it in the general rubbish bin means that it will be dealt with in the most environmentally friendly way.
“Many areas in Devon have seen improved recycling collection services, with planned improvements underway in other areas, to help residents recycle more. The impact of single use plastics has really hit the headlines recently, but food waste is still a big problem too. UK households waste seven million tonnes of it every year, five million of which is edible. Families are encouraged to reduce food waste where possible and to make use of food waste collections where they exist.”

Posted in: Environment