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recycle week

Date: 20-27 September 2020

The theme for the 17th annual Recycle Week (21-27 September 2020) will thank the UK for continuing to recycle despite the challenges presented by the global Covid-19 pandemic, Recycle Now, under the banner ‘Together – We Recycle’

It may seem like life was put on hold some what why the world went into lockdown, to try and reduce the spread of COVID-19. But, against all the odds, some things have continued. Bins are being emptied, refuse is being collected, parks are continuing to be kept tidy, and streets still are being cleaned and maintained.

This is why this year’s recycle week theme is: ‘‘Thanking the nation: ‘Together – We Recycle’
The idea is to thank the nation for continuing to recycle despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented. It is important to recognise the sacrifices that key workers and citizens have made to keep recycling going and create positive change in the world around us. Our recycling and waste key workers have heroically carried on collecting while the world went on pause around them.

Recycle week is designed to put across simple but important messages about why recycling matters. Partners will have the opportunity to bust myths and demonstrate why recycling is beneficial – keeping waste in use, and out of our environment. Recycle week is UKs biggest annual recycling campaign.

Recycling matters, and people need motivating to care about plastics, more than ever before.
Sustainability is a hot subject due to recent awareness created, and the public is increasingly looking to organisations to help solve major environmental issues. This makes Recycle Week a big and important opportunity to change people’s perception and recycling behaviours, while gaining positive publicity and building your organisation’s reputation.
why recycling is important

Read our blog post here to find out how recycling helps the environment. 

Recycle Week’ is now in its 18th year, and is a celebration of recycling, organised by WRAP under the Recycle Now brand. The aim of the week is to encourage the public to recycle more, by demonstrating the benefits of recycling items from all around the home.

Some councils are reporting that recycling has actually increased; some by as much as a third. It’s testament to the many unsung hero key workers who kept going through difficult times. It also means residents are still doing the right thing for the environment; safe in the knowledge that their local authorities are still maintaining this vital service.

This sends an important message that the environment cannot be put on hold whilst we focus on a pandemic. It also shows people have not lost faith in recycling, which is a massive positive.

As WRAP says, the UK urgently needs to transition to a circular economy to give us the best possible chance to build back better and stronger, to withstand future shocks to our economies and way of life. The potential of a circular economy to create up to 500,000 net jobs presents a particularly compelling case, especially in the context of the latest employment statistics from the Office for National Statistics which demonstrate just what an impact the pandemic has had on the UK jobs market.

Recycling is an important means of building a circular system which keeps valuable materials in the economy and out of the environment. It has arguably been one of the UK’s greatest environmental achievements. But we need to go further, and faster.

People and planet will also be at the heart of this year’s theme, as we focus on thanking the nation for their excellent recycling efforts throughout lockdown and motivating them to keep on doing the right thing, for our environment and our communities.

Recycle Week has always drawn the support of brands and businesses of all sizes as well as local authorities. Some donors / partners getting behind recycle week are Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Co-op, Britvic, Highland Spring, Unilever UK and Ireland, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Danone, Suez, Ecosurety, PEPSICO and Reckitt Benckiser. These companies will be funding activity during the week, which is to help inspire citizens to recycle more of the right things, more often.

What are the opportunities for more recycling and reprocessing?

Organisations working in the re-use and recycling sector can realise economic and environmental benefits from taking action to increase recycling rates, and improve the consistency of local recycling and food waste services.


Why is recycling important?

  • Helps in keeping the environment clean
  • Reduces the amount of waste produced
  • Helps in the conservation of many non-renewable resources
  • Saves energy and thus helps in avoiding energy crisis
  • Prevents landfills and incinerators from getting extremely overloaded
  • Saves and protects the economy of a household
  • Helps in creating new job opportunities
  • Restrains the hunt for raw materials

Recycling Conserves Resources, saves energy, reduces what goes to landfill, and most importantly helps protect the environment.

Recycling is good for the environment; in a sense, we are using old and waste products that are of no use and then converting them back to the same new products. Since we are saving resources and are sending less trash to the landfills, it helps in reducing air and water pollution.

Recycling is important in today’s world if we want to leave this planet for our future generations. It is good for the environment since we are making new products from the old products which are of no use to us. Recycling begins at home and in our businesses. If you are not throwing away any of your old products and instead utilizing it for something new, then you are actually recycling, or upcycling.

When you think of recycling, you should really think about the whole idea; reduce, reuse and recycle. We’ve been careless up to this point with the way we’ve treated the Earth, and it’s time to change, not just the way we do things but the way we think.

When we recycle, used materials are converted into new products, reducing the need to consume natural resources. If used materials are not recycled, new products are made by extracting fresh, raw material from the Earth, through mining and forestry. Recycling helps conserve important raw materials and protects natural habitats for the future.

Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than that required for producing new products from raw materials – even when comparing all associated costs including transport etc. Plus there are extra energy savings because more energy is required to extract, refine, transport and process raw materials ready for industry compared with providing industry-ready materials.

Recycling reduces the need for extracting (mining, quarrying and logging), refining and processing raw materials all of which create substantial air and water pollution. As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. Current UK recycling is estimated to save more than 18 million tonnes of CO2 a year – the equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road.

When we recycle, recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products, and as a result the amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites reduces. There are over 1,500 landfill sites in the UK, and in 2001, these sites produced a quarter of the UK’s emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Find out more about landfills here, and why landfills are bad for the environment.


Here at Unisan, our focus is helping companies increase their recycling rates. Our team is passionate about ways to make recycling more engaging, and even fun, to help achieve your sustainability goals and help protect the environment.

We’re always looking for new ways to make recycling at work a better experience.  We can share a wealth of experience after working with large corporations in every sector and industry to transform their recycling with innovation & cutting edge design.

Our inspiration page shows how we have successfully helped many organisations in UK make recycling a success.
inspiration for stylish office recycling bins

We believe your recycling deserves better than a humble waste bin. Office designs keep getting more impressive, but why are recycling solutions being left behind? At Unisan we change this. Our bespoke solutions focus on design, so that they’re not only highly effective, but they look great in your workplace. Find out more here

Browse our office recycling bins here