Yorkshire-based British Recycled Plastic says schools are doing a great job at educating pupils on recycling, but have limited resources available to them. The environmentally conscious company helps public and private sector organisations slash their maintenance costs and be kinder to the environment by producing and supplying ultra-tough, 100% recycled plastic furniture, bins, raised beds and fencing used in schools, colleges and universities.
British Recycled Plastic’s Managing Director, Jason Elliott, says: “Much of the problem is that for decades, people have associated waste with success. Not directly, but if you can have a heated swimming pool that runs all year round, have air conditioning or heating on with the windows open, drive a huge car that does eight miles to the gallon with a V12 engine, you have traditionally been seen as successful.
“Recycling education begins in schools and schools are actually doing a great job, but have limited resources. Recycling should be a fundamental part of society and how we live. Products should be designed with recycling or repair in mind and they should be easy to separate into their constituent materials.
“Simple recycling facilities like can crushers should be everywhere. When I lived in the Dolomite mountains in Italy in 1991, my village square had a can crusher that looked like a clown’s head with an open mouth. You popped the can in the mouth and pulled the arm to crush it and every child used it.
“While it is clearly the responsibility of all levels of government to provide recycling facilities, and it is also the responsibility of manufacturers to make their products recyclable where they can’t be reused or repaired, ultimately it is the responsibility of the individual to recycle the things they use.
“One of the great societal ills of the last 40 years, in particular, is the feeling many people have that, while they are entitled to everything, they are responsible for nothing. Everything is someone else’s fault or problem and, quite frankly, if we are to survive as a species, that needs to change quickly. Education is the only thing that can change this.”
The average secondary school produces 22kg of waste per pupil each academic year. The figure for primary schools is even higher at 45kg per pupil. There are almost 34,000 schools in the UK and they play a vital role in dealing with waste. Recycling schemes in schools help to improve the environment and can reduce money spent by the school on waste disposal, while in turn showing children the vital benefits of recycling waste.