Pester power push for London recycling

Encouraging children to use 'pester power' to persuade parents to recycle and linking waste issues to climate change could reduce the waste going to landfill or incineration in the capital, according to London's deputy mayor.

Speaking at launch of a new city-wide advertising campaign to encourage recycling, Nicky Gavron told edie that by using the characters from the new animated film Flushed Away in the ads, City Hall was hoping to make recycling more fun for children who, in turn, would use their pester power to get their parents recycling more

She said the authority was also trying to spell out the links between waste and climate change, an issue that the public showed obvious concern about.

“If you bury or burn rather than recycle, you add to the carbon dioxide and increase global warming,” she said.

“We’re working with the boroughs to make recycling as easy as possible for people, but there are still about a quarter of Londoners who are just not recycling much and it’s them we’re trying to reach.”

Ms Gavron was joined in Trafalgar Square on Friday by former East Enders star Shane Richie, who voices one of the characters in the film, to play a giant game of snakes and ladders with a recycling twist.

Marked up with tips and facts about household waste, the colourful ‘streets and sewers’ board also focused on the main theme of the children’s film, that recycling rats have built a mirror image of London under the city streets out of waste.

Shane Richie told edie that while he was glad to endorse environmental issues – which he was becoming more aware of since the birth of his most recent child six months ago – he did not believe his backing would persuade people to change their behaviour.

“People will make up their own minds, it’s more about what people feel about the environment,” he said.

“As a father of three other children and now we’ve got a six month old I think about their future and how we can make good the mess we’ve made and leave an environment that’s a little bit better.”

Sam Bond

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