Recycling 'just one thing' could spark London's resource revolution

A new behavioural change campaign has been launched to develop Londoners' understanding of what can be recycled, as the capital aims to hit recycling targets set by Mayor Boris Johnson.

If every Londoner recycled one extra plastic bottle a week for a year, enough energy would be saved to power Wembley Stadium for two years

If every Londoner recycled one extra plastic bottle a week for a year, enough energy would be saved to power Wembley Stadium for two years

The Recycle for London scheme is being launched by Resource London, a partnership between the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) and WRAP. 

The campaign encourages people in the city to recycle ‘just one thing’, noting that if every Londoner recycled one extra plastic bottle a week for a year, enough energy would be saved to power Wembley Stadium for two years.

Marcus Gover, member of the Resource London Board and director at WRAP, said: “As a nation, we’re recycling more than ever, but many people are confused by what can and can’t be recycled. Having a strong, simple city-wide message in Recycle for London will help many more Londoners recycle.”

As part of the campaign, Recycle for London has categorised the five common attitudes towards recycling, offering advice and material that has been distributed across local authorities, to enable households to increase their recycling potential.

Reduction targets

The campaign has been supported by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who has set targets of recycling 50% of local authority collected waste by 2020. Figures produced as part of edie's 'Sustainable Six Nations' coverage earlier this year, showed English recycling rates currently sat at 42%. In order to increase this figure a host of initiatives have been launched throughout London and the rest of the UK.

In regards to visual behavioural change, street cleaners Veolia launched a scheme that saw giant cigarettes and voting ashtrays placed along the streets of Westminster. The giant sculptures were created to draw awareness to London’s ongoing waste problems caused by cigarettes and chewing gum - the two items that are now responsible for 78% of all observed litter.

Behavioural campaign organisation, Chewing Gum Action Group (CGAG), also recently attempted to influence behavioural change on the streets on London, as the grey pavements of Europe's busiest shopping street were transformed with brightly-coloured circles to highlight the amount of chewing gum that is dropped.

Fuelling innovation

London’s booming population has been a significant factor in the rise of waste produced in the capital, but it leaves massive potential for waste-to-energy projects and initiatives.

As a recent example, Westminster City Council collected around 200 tonnes of waste from Notting Hill Carnival in August, which will generate enough energy to power 80,000 showers if the waste is converted correctly.

Biofuel company Bio-bean recently announced that it would be powering fifteen thousand households across London on waste coffee beans from local baristas, under a new capital-wide scheme to get London to embrace the green economy.

Matt Mace


Tags

| green economy | Green innovation | litter | population | veolia | wembley stadium | WRAP

Topics

Waste & resource management
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