Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental concerns of our generation and Derry is leading the way in recycling it.
The city is the only one in Northern Ireland to feature in the top 20 plastic recycling towns and cities across the north and Britain, coming in a very respectable fifth.
The information was compiled by The Body Shop, which was interested to see the positive impact of people’s current plastic recycling efforts.
Huge progress has been made, with 602,493 tonnes of plastic recycled across the UK between 2017 and 2018.
The Body Shop’s two new plastic initiatives Return.Recycle.Repeat and Community Trade recycled plastic are part of a bigger goal to become a more sustainable brand with recycling being one of the first steps. By 2030, The Body Shop will only be using three types of plastic instead of 20, making it easier for consumers to recycle its products. Also, with Return. Recycle. Repeat. and other schemes, The Body Shop will collect 25% more packaging than it sells.
With these initiatives in mind, The Body Shop was interested to see the positive impact of people’s current plastic recycling efforts. The information was compiled by analysing the amount of plastic sent for recycling from every town and city in the UK between 2017 and 2018 and cross referencing this with the population to create a plastic recycling index.
Based on this index, the north-west town of Wigan has been named as the top plastic recycling town with over 9,000 tons of plastic being sent for recycling between 2017-18.
Interestingly, it’s Wales that leads the poll, with the most towns and cities making the top 20 list and two (Bridgend and Swansea) making the top three. In total the Welsh sent 43,877 tonnes of plastic for recycling between 2017-2018 which weighs 3.5 times more than the Severn Bridge.
With over 2,000 tonnes of plastic recycled, Derry is showed to be the best place in Northern Ireland for plastic recycling. Northern Ireland contributed 26,033 tonnes between 2017 and 2018, which could build the Albert Memorial Clock 13 times, dwarfing the treasured landmark.
Two Scottish places made the top 20 with Stirling placing seventh and Falkirk sneaking in at 19th. Combined these two places recycled over 3,500 tonnes of plastic. Yorkshire also did well, boasting four of the top 20 towns and cities for plastic recycling - Hull, Barnsley, Middlesbrough and Rotherham.
The top five towns and cities are Wigan; Bridgend, Wales; Swansea, Wales; Merthyr Tydfil in Wales and Derry.
To show how well the UK has done with plastic recycling, The Body Shop has visualised regional plastic recycling between April 2017 and March 2018 in comparison to the weight of beloved landmarks. You can see more information about the campaign here: https://www.thebodyshop.com/en-gb/packaging/plastic-recycling-uk