Santa goes green

Santa has been playing a flying visit to Lancashire, and he’s swapped his usual fur-lined scarlet outfit for a green version in order to promote recycling of waste from the festive season.

Over 10% of Lancashire’s waste is produced over Christmas and the New Year – on average, Lancashire produces 2,200 tonnes of waste every day. Sixty percent of this waste could be recycled, says the county council.

For its latest campaign against the waste problem, Lancashire County Council has teamed up with Rethink Rubbish, the National Waste Awareness Initiative’s consumer waste awareness scheme. To promote the campaign, Santa has been appearing at a number of supermarkets across the county, explaining how and why people should recycle.

He has also been showing off some products made from recycled waste. These include pencils made from plastic vending machine cups and pens made from recycled paper.

Across Britain as a whole we are likely to produce three million tonnes of rubbish this Christmas. This will include one billion Christmas cards – sufficient for 17 for every man, woman and child; 4,200 tonnes of aluminium foil; 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging; 80,000 tonnes of old clothes and other textiles; and 300,000 tonnes of glass and metal.

“While it’s very important to recycle throughout the year, Christmas and New Year generate even more rubbish than usual, so I want to do what I can while I’m in the area to make sure this important festive message gets across to as many people as possible,” he said.

Santa’s solutions include giving unwanted presents and old clothes to charity shops, and taking advantage of the Woodland Trust’s Christmas card recycling scheme, which will include installing recycling bins in all WH Smith and Tesco stores in the New Year.

Lancashire currently recycles 21% of its household waste – considerably better than the poor 11% rate for the country as a whole.

When he’s not campaigning for recycling or delivering Christmas presents, Santa is also known as Lancashire County Council’s Waste Management Officer, Andrew Coombe. Outside the festive season, Coombe also dresses as a waste management mole.

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