Top Tips for Recycle Week 2020

What is Recycle Week?

Recycle Week is a UK based event run by WRAP from September 21st-27th 2020 which celebrates and promotes recycling. The Recycle Week 2020 theme is “Thanking the nation: Together - We Recycle” which aims to thank the people of the UK for continuing their recycling efforts, despite the additional struggles of the Coronavirus pandemic. Recycling is so so important in the battle against climate change and all of the packaging for our eco friendly products is either recyclable, reusable or compostable - shop eco friendly products and gifts here.

How to take part in the UK Recycle Week 2020?

Recycling Symbols Explained

With different council areas recycling different items and a plethora of different recycling symbols, it can be difficult to know which items can be recycled. To help with this, I have put together a useful graphic which shows what different recycling symbols actually mean - this is a great resource so feel free to screenshot so that you can refer to it later. 

The top left symbol can be deceiving, because it is easy to assume this means the packaging can definitely be recycled. However, it actually means that it is recycled in over 75% of local authority areas - you can check your local authority here. 

The top right symbol alone does not indicate that the item is recyclable, it purely tells us that the producer makes a financial contribution towards the recycling of the packaging.

The bottom right symbol means that not only is the packaging recycled, but if there is a percentage figure then this shows how much of the packaging is made using recycled materials. 

Finally, the bottom right symbol indicates that the packaging must be recycled at a bottle bank, rather than placed in your recycling bin at home.

Recycled Craft to Try for Recycle Week 2020

Recycled Craft - Hot Air Balloon Decoration

With the advance of technology, cards are becoming a thing of the past, but many of us continue to send and receive cards from close family and friends. Whilst I try to send cards which can be recycled, often cards we receive cannot be recycled due to glitter/ foil etc which has been incorporated into the design. For years, we have collected the cards we receive, unsure what to use them for, but not wanting to throw away the pretty designs. This recycled craft is inspired by Kirstie: Keep Crafting and Carry On and is a great way to use old cards to create a hot air balloon decoration. So, have a root around your home to find cards from previous birthdays and special occasions and grab a cuppa….

What you will need for this recycled craft:

  • Old cards
  • String
  • Glue
  • Scissors 

Recycled Craft - Hot Air Balloon Decoration Instructions

Recycled Craft - Hot Air Balloon Template

1. Hand draw a template for the balloon, a smaller rectangle which will be the basket and a cloud. It is up to you how big you make your templates (try to make the basket proportional to the size of the balloon) but our balloons were roughly 10cm by 8cm, the rectangles for the basket 4cm by 2cm and the clouds roughly 10cm by 5cm. To reduce waste further, cut your template out of the back of your cards, as the back does not usually have a design so won’t be used for the final decoration. You only need 1 template per shape.

Cloud and Hot Air Balloon Cut Outs

2. Using your template, cut out your balloons from the front of the cards - it can be effective to try a different colour scheme for each balloon or else just make it random. You will need 4 balloon shapes and 3 basket shapes per balloon. You can choose how many balloons you would like to make depending on how long you would like your decoration, but I did 3 balloons and 4 clouds. Cut the clouds from the back of the card or any white spaces on the card, you will only need 2 card cut outs for each cloud.

3. Next it's time to attach the cards to your piece of string. Rather than cutting your string first, I would leave the string on the reel and tie a loop at the end which can be used to hang your decoration. Then start attaching your decorations from the top, cutting the string at the bottom once all of your balloon, basket and cloud cut outs are attached. I started with a cloud at the top (but you can choose to start with a balloon if you prefer). Simply cover one cloud cut out with glue and place the string in the middle of the cloud and then stick another cut out on top, applying pressure until stuck.

Recycled Craft - Hot Air Balloon Decoration

4. To attach your balloons, fold the card in half long ways, with the design folded inwards. Then glue the outside of one half of your balloon cut out and attach to another cut out and repeat so that you have 3 balloon shapes stuck together. Next, place a line of glue down the inside centerfold of the balloons you have just attached and stick the string in place - leaving a gap (roughly 3cm) between the cloud and the balloon. Finally glue the back of both halves of the final balloon cut out and stick into place. Repeat this process for the 3 rectangles which will become the basket, leaving a 1cm gap between the balloon and the basket.

5. Continue alternating between balloons and clouds until your decoration is the length you desire, then cut the string at the bottom and hang up your decoration so that you can admire your hard work and your recycling efforts!

Are you taking part in Recycle Week 2020? Have you tried this recycled craft? I would love to know how you got on with the craft or if you have any other recycling tips - let me know in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram.

If the UK Recycle Week 2020 has fuelled your passion to be part of the change, take a look at our eco friendly starter kits and start making simple swaps which can have a massive impact on the environment. 

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