Monday 20th September 2021 marks the commencement of National Recycling Week in the UK. Recycle Week is a celebration of recycling and all things green across the nation. Now in its 18th year, it’s the one week of the year where retailers, brands, waste management companies, trade associations, governments and the media come together to achieve one goal: to galvanise the public into recycling more of the right things, more often.
At Wycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust (WWSET) we are in full support of National Recycling Week and are going all out to make sure we are doing our bit for the planet. This week aims to better help protect the environment we live in, as recycling is all something we can all do to protect the planet we live on. The awareness is key but the overall aim is to get more people doing this every single day.
The amount of rubbish humans produce has been escalating over the last 50 years. There has been a gradual change in shopping habits and people’s attitudes to throwing things away. Things aren’t built to last – the need for less expensive products means that they don’t last. Items also go out of fashion very quickly with styles and technologies updating at a rapid rate. The personal service provided by shopkeepers has been replaced by self-service in supermarkets where the goods are often highly packaged; often loose items are packed together and priced to speed up payment at the check-out.
Some goods are elaborately wrapped to make them look more attractive, put into plastic bags and then loaded into plastic carrier bags at the checkout. A Women’s Environmental Network group bought a trolley-load of 102 basic items – the shopping for a family for two weeks. They found that there was a total of 543 pieces of packaging, and the UK government estimate that we generate about 177 million tonnes of waste every year in England alone.
Mass production of plastics, which began just six decades ago, has accelerated so rapidly that it has created 8.3 billion metric tons—most of it in disposable products that end up as trash. If that seems like an incomprehensible quantity, it is. Even the scientists who set out to conduct the world’s first tally of how much plastic has been produced, discarded, burned or put in landfills, were horrified by the sheer size of the numbers.
According to National Geographic, of the 8.3 billion metric tons that have been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only 9% has been recycled. The vast majority—79%—is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter. Meaning: at some point, much of it ends up in the oceans.
These statistics are shocking and it is simply not good enough. At WWSET, we believe that we can do more to show everyone that recycling is cool and is something that we all need to take more seriously.
Our team have been in full support of this, as they have been seeing what they can recycle and reuse in terms of waste. We sent out our own mini recycling superhero, 2-year-old Benji Fawkes, to sort out the recycling at his home, and when asked about it, he pointed out that he loves Peppa Pig and that George really likes “Dinesaurs” (other children’s cartoons and prehistoric animals are available from all good retailers!)
So we spoke to his dad, Mark, instead who said, “Benji and I always make sure we do the recycling together when we can. It’s really important to us that he grows up knowing the importance of recycling and I hope that we instil these good habits in him as he grows up. We can address environmental issues as a group if we all work together, and it is incumbent upon us as a species to teach this to our kids, who will be the ones to suffer if we don’t.”
As a society need to consider whether it’s worth trading off some convenience for a clean, healthy environment. For some products that are very problematic in the environment, maybe we think about using different materials. Or phasing them out. That is the reason for National Recycling Week – to make people think about what is essential in their home, and what they could stand to do without.
Contact us on email@example.com if you are having a recycling drive this week and let us know if we can help!
So to close out this article, let’s have some adorable photos of little Benji doing this thing: