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The class system or term of a worker was first adopted back in 1924. It started off with blue-collar to depict a manual worker / a laborer. The idea of a green collar worker was then unthought of.

Now that we are almost a century into the future, how far have we come in terms of recycling.

Well. I think we can confidently state that the concept of recycling as we know it today started in 1947. The year Gary Dean Anderson was born. He is the most well-known designer of the recycling symbol, now one of the most recognised symbols / logos across the world.

In 1970, he entered a competition to design a graphic symbol which would be used on recycled paper products and which could recognise a commitment to environmental sensitivity on the part of any manufacturer which was engaged with recycling. From the 500 competing entries, Anderson won. And thus, Anderson’s symbol is still recognised universally across the globe.

So, here we are – 2017. If Anderson were to look at the UK today I’m not sure he’d be best pleased. According to GOV.UK, we generate about 177 million tonnes of waste every year in England alone.

Why? Who is to blame?

We’re all to blame.    The manufacturers manufacturer based on consumer demand. As consumers, the concept of self-service supermarkets, as an example, demands the use of packaging. Some packaging can be recycled, some not, some – well even I find it confusing to tell.


The solution!

We all adopt the label of being a green collar worker and move towards a zero tolerance on waste. We do this by:

1) Preventing waste in the first place – businesses and consumers alike.
2) Prevent food waste – according to The Guardian we are throwing away £13,000,000,000 of food each year. That’s nonsensical and downright pathetic. To put this into perspective, that’s the cost of 65,000 family cars or 6,000 family homes – every single year.
3) We recycle more – at work, at home, at school, everywhere – every minute, hour, day.
4) We educate about how to recycle and the importance of effective waste segregation – allowing those who are employed in the recycling industry to be more effective at waste management.
5) We make businesses more responsible for what they produce.
6) We empower households to demand better recycling solutions.

Recycle more – if not for your planet, for your purse. Waste on every level makes no sense.

At UnisanUK, we sell sustainability insurance. We know people want to do the right thing, so why make it hard. We make recycling and hygiene in the workplace easy and cost-effective.

Recycling laws in Wales have changed. Is your business compliant?