Get young people involved in Recycle Week

By Joanne Mitchell posted 22-09-2021 12:10


It's that time of the year when we look at our responsibility to implement positive change and help protect our planet...Recycle Week has arrived!

The national celebration of all things ‘rubbish’ sees retailers, trade associations, waste management companies, government and the media work together to educate us on what and how to recycle. It is a public campaign week sponsored by some of the biggest names on the high street - Amazon, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Pepsico and Waitrose to name but a few.

The aim is to help all of us understand that we can make better use of many waste products, from recycling, to renewing to reusing and a big benefit is that it helps with climate change. You can find out more about the event by visiting the organisation who started it - WRAP (Waste and Resource Action Programme).

Bringing STEM subjects and Recycle Week together is an obvious idea. Recycling generates a lot of science facts so let’s look at few. Did you know that recycling just one aluminium air freshener can, saves enough energy to make 30 Lego™ bricks? Or, if every home in your local authority recycled one more drinks can per week then enough energy would be saved to power a primary school for weeks? That’s a lot of energy being repurposed.

But it doesn’t end there. Recycled cardboard only uses 75% of the energy needed to make new cardboard and recycling one tonne of paper saves 13 trees. You can also recycle paper up to seven times. Not to be outdone, glass can be recycled repeatedly, anything made from recycled glass is of the same high standard as ‘new’ glass. Green glass bottles are made with 90% recycled glass but a sad fact is that 14 million glass bottles and jars are sent to landfill every day. Even worse we throw away around 455,000 tonnes of plastic bottles every year – equivalent to around 9.1 billion bottles. It takes 25 two litre plastic bottles to make your favourite recycled fleece jacket, just think how many jackets could be made from all those waste bottles.

So now you’ve got the facts, why not include some recycling activities into your STEM Club or classroom? To help get you started, I’ve found these great ideas:

Primary Activities:

    Secondary Activities

    Share your facts or activity ideas and celebrate Recycle Week!




    23-09-2021 09:09

    At STEM Learning we have a number of teaching resources related to recycling that can be used to engage pupils across various age ranges and areas of the curriculum.  The best have been gathered together into a collection which you can find here.

    23-09-2021 07:58

    We run a recycling program in school NestonHighSchoolMakerspace on Instagram ​