Local residents are in the dark about the multiple benefits of household recycling

  • New data launched this Recycle Week (25 September – 1 October) shows that, although most Londoners say they believe recycling makes a difference, more than one in five struggle to see a direct benefit from it
  • Recycle for London is highlighting the ‘second life’ of everyday waste to encourage people to recycle more

This Recycle Week, Recycle for London is telling the story of what everyday waste can be turned into, showing  residents how easy it is to make a positive difference.

 It follows a survey conducted by Censuswide1, indicating that whilst 85% of London residents believe recycling makes a difference, when asked separately about the direct benefits of recycling, more than one in five (22%) admit they struggle to see any. 

To demonstrate how household waste can be turned into useful new products or energy to power the community, Recycle for London has produced new insights which show the huge potential of the capitals’ circular economy.

 Examples include:

  • Recycling just 20 plastic drinks bottles could make a football shirt for your favourite football club
  • Recycled aerosol cans help create new mobile phones, so the 69% of London households who currently recycle their aerosols might soon be using them again - a fact that only 19% of Londoners are aware of
  • The 76% of London households who recycle their cleaning product bottles may be surprised to know they can get turned into an outdoor children’s playset  - something that even fewer Londoners (26%) are aware of
  • One year’s worth of a London borough’s domestic food waste could generate enough electricity to power a local primary school for over 10 years

To transform recycled materials into something new, a variety of processes are used. These can include grinding plastic materials into pellets, which are heated to make a polyester thread for clothing; or converting food waste into energy at anaerobic digestion centres.

The many ways in which recycling is worth the effort are shown in a series of new animations produced for Recycle Week, which Londoners can watch here: http://bit.ly/2y8C4Rc

The new animations will be launched for Recycle Week, demonstrating what items might turn into, with a focus on things that aren’t as commonly recycled – particularly those from the bathroom and bedroom, such as aerosols, plastic cleaning bottles, and shampoo bottles.

 Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said:

“The Mayor is fully committed to helping Londoners increase recycling and this campaign highlights just how beneficial reducing waste and reusing items can be. The majority of our household items can be put to good use and we want to make it as easy as possible for all Londoners to access simple local recycling services, as we work towards a 65 per cent recycling rate by 2030. “

Ali Moore, Campaign Manager at Recycle for London, said:

“When it comes to recycling, what goes around really does come around. Recycling just a few more items from around the home can make a real difference, and we want to show Londoners all the great outcomes of their recycling efforts. It’s easy to make recycling part of your routine –just putting a recycling bag or bin in your bathroom or bedroom can help make it become second nature.”

 For information and advice on recycling in your local area, visit www.recycleforlondon.com


For more information and to request images please contact Harry Day harry@forster.co.uk or Lowry Jonathan lowry@forster.co.uk on 0207 403 2230


Notes to editors

About Recycle for London

Recycle for London is the consumer campaign which delivers both London-wide communications and borough level support to help Londoners recycle more, no matter where they are in the capital. Supported by the Mayor of London, the campaign underpins the capital’s push towards 65% recycling by 2030.

Visit the website at: http://www.recycleforlondon.com, and like us on Facebook.com/ recycleforlondon/

About Recycle Week

Recycle Week is the UK’s annual event to build awareness of, and encourage increased participation in recycling behaviour. It is organised by WRAP under the Recycle Now brand.

About the data – Censuswide1

A Survey was undertaken by Censuswide, between the 18th and 25th August 2017.

The survey included 2,426 General UK Respondents, including at least 300 from London, 300 from the North West and 400 from Wales.