Bournemouth set to create world’s largest ‘work of art’ from recycled plastic

Residents of Bournemouth will receive an opportunity to set a new world record during the upcoming Air Festival weekend (18-21 August), after the council signed up to a plastics recycling campaign to make the largest work of art made from recycled plastic packaging.

The #pledge4plastics campaign, supported by Coca-Cola Enterprises, Marks & Spencer and RPC, will arrive in Bournemouth later this month to encourage residents to find a better use for the 86,694 tonnes of rubbish and recycling that is collected by the borough each year.

The world record attempt will take recyclable plastic packaging processed by contractors Viridor in an attempt to engage event goers and raise awareness of the sheer amount of plastic that gets discarded annually.

Bournemouth Borough Council’s councillor for cleansing and waste Michael Filer said: “Our seafront team work extremely hard every day to make sure Bournemouth’s beach is beautiful for the daily influx of thousands of visitors, and it’s pleasing that the vast majority of people put their packaging in the bin or take it home to recycle. However, we want to make sure even more is recycled, and so we’ve partnered up with #pledge4plastics to promote awareness and drive home the message that more can still be done.”

Pledge 4 Plastics is a Government-backed national recycling initiative led by RECOUP that attempts to alter behaviours through involvement campaigns. Currently, Bournemouth recycles more than 1,842 tonnes of plastic packaging to be made into new bottles, furniture and clothing.

Stagnant rates

The initiative was launched in response to the UK’s ongoing challenge to meet recycling targets. While annual figures released by the Welsh Government revealed that the country’s household recycling rate hit 56.2% in 2014/15 – a 1.9% year-on-year increase – England has been told to “hang its head in shame” over its stagnant rates.

In order to placate the issues, the Environmental Services Association (ESA) has warned that “urgent Government intervention” is needed to create a more resilient waste collection system that transforms the nation into a world-leader.

However, the impending decision to leave the European Union could result in “weakened” business standards for recycling and air quality in the UK, after investment researchers Sustainalytics analysed the impact that leaving the EU could have on corporative environmental and social governance.

Matt Mace

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