- A new campaign, Recycle for London, was launched Nov. 9 to help meet a goal set by London Mayor Boris Johnson for town halls to recycle 50% of collected waste by 2020; currently only 34% of the regions' household waste is recycled.
- Backed by the Mayor and London Councils, the campaign calls on Londoners to do 'Just One Thing' every day to make a difference. If the movement gains momentum and every Londoner recycled one more plastic bottle every week for 12 months, they would save enough energy to power Wembley Stadium for two years.
- Still, the regions’ youth — the population who expressed the most enthusiasm over recycling — says they have no idea what they can recycle or how to do it. A new campaign website informs residents what items are recyclable in their postcode area and offers tips on reducing waste.
Boosting the recycle rate will be a tough task for London’s town halls. They face challenges such as living in flats with communal bins, or being tied to waste contracts without incentives.
Then there is the confusion factor; the boroughs have different approaches to recycling. However, Mayor Johnson believes public awareness can bring change. "This is a great way to boost the environment and save money, so let’s not waste any time and get into the habit of recycling more of our everyday items," he said.
Confusion abounds beyond London — at least in the U.S., the Institute of Scrap Recycling knows this is the case with plastic. In a 2014 online poll, 65% of respondents said they don’t understand what plastics are acceptable in curbside collection.
Radio One DJ Gemma Cairney, a Recycle for London ambassador, said: "As Londoners, we are at our best when we come together and the 'Just One Thing' campaign gives us all something that we can get behind."