Five thousand plastic ducks, last seen floating down the River Irwell in the Manchester Duck Race, to raise money for the children’s charity Brainwave, are now on the next leg of their journey, to be recycled.

Every year, in what’s now become an Easter tradition, people buy a duck for £1 to enter into the race, and thousands flock to the river bank to watch the spectacle. But.. what happens to the ducks afterwards? In the past, environmental campaigners have voiced concerns about them, but we’re helping the charity by disposing of them responsibly. This year, with the recent push on all things plastic, and Prime Minister Theresa May stepping up the war on plastic waste, we want to explain what exactly happens to the ducks after they’ve been on their little journey down the River Irwell.

Because of pollution levels in the river, the ducks can’t be returned, so have to be got rid of and new ones used every year. This is where we come in. One of our trucks has been to Duck Race sponsors Bathroom Takeaway in Urmston, to load the ducks and take them off on their next little adventure. 



One of the lucky ducks was tested at Venture  Polymers UK in Newton le Willows, and it’s good news, they can be recycled, but at this moment in time, we’re not quite sure what into, but will keep you posted on what they’ll be in their next life.

Commercial Director at Gaskells Waste Denise Banks said “We’re only too happy to help Brainwave as the work they do for children with disabilities is invaluable, and we want to make sure they don’t lose any of their funding by having to pay for disposal of the ducks. Plastic pollution is becoming a major issue, which we’ve seen with Theresa May’s latest proposals for a ban on straws, cotton buds, etc. At Gaskells we’re totally committed to the environment, and are always looking for the best ways to re-use and recycle waste. Five thousand plastic ducks is a bit of a tricky task, and some plastics are actually quite difficult to recycle, but we’re confident, with the tests being carried out, we will be able to give those ducks a new lease of life”

Carole Headley, Development Manager for Brainwave, said: “The Manchester Duck Race is a fantastic fundraising event for Brainwave and provides us with the much needed funds to continue helping young children across the region.  We always ensure that the canal is thoroughly cleared after the race and we’re incredibly grateful to have the support of Gaskells Waste to recycle all our ducks and Bathroom Takeaway for storing them for us.”