National Recycle Week: How to make your efforts to save the planet count

East Devon residents are being urged to help protect the environment and continue to improve Devon’s top recycling rate –  by getting things right.

The call comes during National Recycle Week, lead by Recycle Now and supported by Recycle Devon.

With high-profile protests, inspiration drawn from TV programmes like Our Planet and activists including Greta Thunberg, environmental concerns have never been so important to the nation.

For its 17th annual Recycle Week, Recycle Now wants people everywhere to focus on getting recycling right during Recycle Week.

Devon Recycle says: “Over 60 per cent of households recycle more now than they were a year ago – because of environmental concerns. In particular, more and more households are recycling beverage containers, plastic cleaner, toiletry and shampoo bottles.”

However, it points out householders sometimes incorrectly put items like nappies, toys and toothpaste tubes in the recycling bin.

Craig Stephens, campaign manager for Recycle Now, said: “This year we’ve all taken more notice of our impact on the environment, and realised that recycling is part of reducing that impact.

“Here in Devon it’s no different – more and more of us are recycling, so the next step is to make sure we get our recycling right. So come on, Devon, keep up the great work and let’s make recycling better than ever before.”

The impact of single use plastics has really hit the headlines recently, but food waste is still a big problem too

Councillor David Harvey, Chair of the Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee, said: “What and how we recycle really matters. Recycling an item rather than throwing it in the general rubbish bin means that it will be dealt with in the most environmentally friendly way.

“Many areas in Devon have seen improved recycling collection services, with planned improvements underway in other areas, to help residents recycle more.

“The impact of single use plastics has really hit the headlines recently, but food waste is still a big problem too. UK households waste seven million tonnes of it every year, five million of which is edible.

“Families are encouraged to reduce food waste where possible and to make use of food waste collections where they exist.”

A lot of recyclable materials are still being put into general waste.

National Recycle Week

Residents are being asked to make the extra effort to ensure that food isn’t wasted and that their recyclables are separated properly and put into the right receptacles and caddies in preparation for their kerbside collections.

Here are some simple things you can do:

  • Consider reducing the amount you throw away by choosing to reduce and reuse such as carrying a reusable water bottle and cup.
  • Recycle more bathroom items like shampoo and shower gel bottles, toilet roll tubes and bathroom cleaners
  • Make sure nappies and polystyrene never go in the recycling bin
  • Nearly half of what we throw away is fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, dairy, rice and pasta. Some of the common reasons for waste are buying too much, improper storage, not eating things in time and cooking too much. Steps including meal planning could reduce this.

Unsure about how to recycle a specific item? Find more information here: www.recycledevon.org

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