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World Cleanup Day

We thought it worth mentioning World Cleanup Day as its taking place this Saturday 19th September. As a nation we’re great at mucking in and mucking out. But on this day, we won’t be cleaning for Queen or country. We’ll be cleaning for ourselves, each other and the planet.

During last year’s event over 20 million people from 180 countries, in 24 different time zones took time-out of their day to make the world tidier. This year the organisers hope that even more people will take part.

That said they’re conscious of the dangers the current pandemic presents. In a bid to protect their volunteers, they’ve created a digital map and are asking potential cleaners to ‘stake their claim’ in advance. By doing so, they hope participants keep a safe distance from their fellow teams and improve efficiency. In the UK this can be done online at The Skill Mill.

Besides the Covid 19 guidelines, the organisers have created a simple safety guide. So, if you fancy getting involved here’s some dos and don’ts:

  • Don’t forget to wear gloves
  • Do ask your local council about borrowing ‘grabby sticks’. Most local councils have them and are happy to share.
  • Don’t choose anywhere dangerous to pick up litter, like busy roads or railways etc.
  • Don’t forget to do some before and after shots. Help the organiser’s show the world what an impact we can make.
  • Do share, share, share on social media. Tell the world (and your neighbours) what you’re doing and why...Because this event is not only about filling bin bags.

It's also about recording what we find. The entire exercise is, in part, fuelled by the need to understand why we create so much waste. By doing so, the hope is that we can do in the future to reduce it.

Here are some figures courtesy of last year’s Dutch team:

  • 61% of all rubbish collected in The Netherlands was plastic waste.
  • Cans were the most common item people picked up.
  • Red Bull was the No. 1 discarded drinks can brand.
  • The Dutch team picked up a staggering 77,671 individual pieces of rubbish.

Imagine how many of those cans were recyclable? Certainly from the Dutch team’s data it's clear that there is an issue with people not recycling. And the Dutch are pretty savvy when it comes to sustainability, so there’s an obvious logic gap somewhere.

Here in the U.K. it's good to see a movement underway to reduce our plastic waste, championed by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Anita Rani. In their three-part TV series “War on Plastic”, shown on BBC1, Hugh and Anita explore where the plastic problem is coming from and what we can do to try and solve it.

They also challenge UK businesses to do more to reduce the plastic in their products. And a trend is definitely underway as we start to watch some big businesses start on the road to recycling redemption. In fact, the big three tea companies, Tetley, PG Tips and Yorkshire, have all announced a more to 100% compostable tea bags by early 2021. Who’d have thought tea bags even had plastic in them? But, by making such a move they follow the lead of artisan brewers like Pukka, Teapigs and Clipper.

Did you know 91% of plastic isn’t recycled? One has to wonder what habits we could change to lower this figure? Here at Duvet Hog we’re certainly trying to do our bit by recycling PET plastic water bottles. We transform make them into the super-soft, extra-comfy filling for our vegan eco-friendly duvets. Better recycling our waste where we can, eh? Thereby leaving our natural resources well alone, in nature!

But as individuals, the first step is to start by picking up any discarded rubbish from our streets, parks and beaches. We can then send any recyclable waste, such as plastic bottles and drinks cans, off to recycling. That way our waste is no longer waste, 'cos we haven't wasted it. 😉

So, if you’ve got some time to kill and some bin bags to fill this Saturday September 19th why not show your support? Together, we can pitch in and tidy up our neck of the woods. More than that, the data produced will help us all understand the waste we produce.

We’ll be out there with our bin bags at the ready. We hope to see you on the trail.

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