Did you know plastic pop bottles can be recycled & made into clothes? If you’ve got 25 pop bottles, they can be recycled into a fleece jacket. Answers to more questions like this are incorporated into the design on our special character bins which some of you might have seen if you’ve been to  which we created to make teaching about recycling and sustainability more fun. There are seven in all, each named after a different waste stream. At the helm is General Waste, and his army consists of Poppy Plastic, Gary Glass, Candice Can, Freddie Food, Willie WEEE and Carla Cardboard.

The design process was quite detailed for these, as we really wanted characters which would appeal to children, along with spreading a very important message to those future generations, and their parents. We went through a lot of visuals before choosing these particular characters, and  they had to be dressed appropriately to correspond with their waste stream. The names were important too. General Waste was obviously, a given, but as for the rest, they were chosen again in a way to make them interesting, punchy and friendly sounding. Willie WEEE was chosen for the comedy value, (this has proven to be the ONE waste stream a lot of people had no idea about, so Willie’s served a very good purpose already!). Gary Glass was actually named after our Sales Manager, which he’s very proud of! We’d like to say a big thank you to Neil at Neil Signs in St Helens for his patience as we went through the design process. He did an absolutely fantastic job! 

The bins were initially developed for  one of the many festivals we work with, as the organisers wanted to spread the message about recycling and sustainability, which is a big part of our ethos, so we were only too happy to help. For the first festival they went to, they formed a ‘treasure hunt’ across the site, and children were given a quiz relating to each waste stream and they had to go find the bins and then the answers. 

These are the questions.. see how many you can get the answers to..

1 – If you recycle one glass bottle, how long could that power a computer for?

2 – 40% of food thrown away that could’ve been eaten is fresh fruit and veg. How much money could your family save if you didn’t waste food?

3 – Plastic pop bottles can be recycled into clothes…how many would it take to make one fleece jacket?

4 – How long does it take for a drinks can to be recycled and be back on the shop shelf full of a new drink?

5 – How many trees can you save by recycling one tonne of paper?

6 – General Waste is wast that can’t be recycled but can be used to create energy. How much waste does the average UK household create every year?

7 – WEEE waste is electrical waste.. that’s anything with a plug, including TVs. How many TVs are thrown away in the UK every year?

In their time away from festivals, General Waste and his troops have spent time in a number of schools, as part of an educational recycling workshop..so keep your eyes peeled incase they come to a school near you and you haven’t got the answers!