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About plastic planet
From the sea to the land, Earth is becoming a Plastic Planet. Most of the plastic waste in the UK doesn't actually end up in our oceans, but a lot is disposed of in our environment – burned or buried in landfill sites. People are increasingly worried about this and its impact on nature, and they're right to be. 79% of the plastic waste ever created is still in our environment. We are leaving a legacy of plastic waste on our planet that will take years to put right.
of the plastic waste ever created is still in our environment.
The recycling gap
Despite a huge rise in recycling rates over the past few years, there is a big difference between what we are recycling and what we could be. This is the recycling gap. We need to close it.
More and more people are recycling but we still only recycle 58% of our plastic bottles – that's a 42% gap. Plastic bottles are accepted for recycling by 99% of local councils in the UK. We only recycle 32% of the plastic pots, tubs and trays we buy and these are widely collected for recycling.
It all adds up to plastic being needlessly burned or dumped in landfill every year. Some of that plastic ends up polluting our environment. We all do our bit to recycle, but we can still do more.
we still only recycle 58% of our plastic bottles – that's a 42% gap.
What can you do?
If you don't already recycle plastic it's as simple as getting a recycling bin from your local council and then putting it out on collection day. Check what types of plastic you can recycle at home by using our Recycling Locator.
If you are already recycling some of the plastic you buy, you can take the next step by finding out what else you can recycle to stop them becoming part of the environment. Remember, if its plastic and bottle shaped its recyclable including all those from the bathroom like shampoo and bleach bottles.
Together we are closing the recycling gap and saying no to a Plastic Planet.
Recycling plastics is easier than ever.
More and more people recycle plasticsSee how you can do it
A huge 79% of all the plastic ever created is still in the environment.
Plastic pollution is affecting even the most remote places on our planet. It’s everywhere - from Antarctica to the Sahara Desert, the top of Everest to the Marina trench (the deepest point in our oceans).
With plastic in so many of our natural environments, and more being used every year, soon we might not be able to tell the difference.
But it doesn’t have to be like this, if we recycle.
Recycling is the most environmentally-friendly way to dispose of our plastic waste – keeping it in use and out of the environment.
Most of us recycle. But a large amount of recyclable plastic packaging is still being thrown away. It’s not just plastic drinks bottles – you can also recycle your shampoo and cleaning product bottles too! And in a lot of areas, you can also recycle the plastic trays your food comes in.
As a nation we’re recycling more than ever – let’s keep up the great work. Find out what you can do to recycle more plastic using our handy Recycling Locator.
Whether you’re a country-maintaining collection crew member, or a life-saving key worker. A home-schooling hero, or a work-from-home star. Big business, or local legend. This Recycle Week, we want to thank each and every one of you. For pulling together whilst staying apart. And continuing to recycle. No matter what life throws in the way. Protecting our nation and our planet for the future. Together.
9 out of 10 households say they 'regularly recycle' but...
On average, UK households put
1 - 2 items in the general rubbish that could be collected for
Common items include foil, aerosols and plastic detergent/cleaning bottles.
The majority of UK households put one or more items in the recycling that is not accepted for recycling.
Common items include plastic bags, toothpaste tubes, drinking glasses and drink cartons
Want to be sure you are putting the right things in the right bins?
Partners across the nation have pulled together to help make Recycle Week 2020 happen. A massive thank you to everyone for your support.
Missed out this year? Get in touch below to find out how to be a part of Recycle Week 2021.
Recycle Week 2020:
One Minute Briefs challenge
We asked the creative community @OneMinuteBriefs to help spread the message behind #RecycleWeek and #TogetherWeRecycle, thanking the nation and its collection workers for continuing to do their bit and encouraging us all to recycle more things, more often.
TAKING ACTION, TOGETHER
Help spread the word this Recycle Week. Like, share, re-post, get involved. Use #RecycleWeek on social media. And check out our social channels where we’ll feature our favourite posts of the nation celebrating Recycle Week together.
"It takes less energy and fewer emissions to recycle than to make things from scratch, which is why recycling saves a total of 18 million tonnes of CO2 a year in the UK" - wrap.org.uk
Watch our Recycle Week video
Almost 9 out of 10 of us are already recycling in the UK. But 55% of households still put items in the general rubbish that could be recycled.
Items you might not know you can recycle
Aerosols. From hairsprays to deodorants, aerosols are widely recycled. Just make sure they’re completely empty and detach the lid.
Shampoo, detergent, shower gel bottles. Empty and replace the lid to recycle your shampoo, detergent, and shower gel bottles. Put the lid back on to prevent any leftover liquid from contaminating the rest of your recycling.
Aluminium foil and trays. Clean household foil and aluminium trays are widely recycled, just rinse or wipe off any crumbs or food residue.
Use the Recycling Locator to see what you can and can’t recycle in your local area
Take a bite out of climate change by recycling
We save 18 million tonnes of CO2 a year by recycling, the same environmental impact as 27 million of us going veggie.
Shake up the climate crisis by recycling your aerosols
Making 20 aerosols from recycled materials uses the same energy as making one from scratch.
Clean up the climate crisis by recycling your bathroom plastics
Making four shampoo bottles from recycled materials uses the same energy as making one from scratch.
Drive down emissions
We save 18 million tonnes of CO2 a year by recycling, the same environmental impact as taking 12 million cars off the road
Highlights of Recycle Week 2021
JJ Chalmers, our Recycle Week ambassador
Invictus Games athlete and TV Presenter JJ Chalmers is partnering with Recycle Now to encourage the nation to 'Step It Up' this Recycle Week.
JJ Chalmers said, "I'm thrilled to be part of this year's campaign. I'm passionate about the environment and how we can battle climate change. I am delighted to be working with the Recycle Now team on what has become a really important week of action across the UK. I really want to encourage people to look at what they are doing and how they can Step It Up and do even more... even better."
A big thank you to our Recycle Week donors
This year major brands and retailers are throwing their weight behind the campaign by donating to help fund the Week. Thank you to all of our donors for all their support.