Today is Global Recycling Day! Recycling is a key part of the circular economy, helping to protect our natural resources. Each year the ‘Seventh Resource’ (recyclables) saves over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions and this is projected to increase to 1 billion tons by 2030. There is no doubt recycling is on the front line in the war to save the future of our planet and humanity!
Every year, the Earth yields billions of tons of natural resources and at some point, in the not too distant future, it will run out.
That’s why we must think again about what we throw away – seeing not waste, but opportunity.
The last decade has been the hottest on record, and we are now facing a climate emergency of unparalleled proportions. If we don’t make significant and rapid changes, we will see continued rising global temperatures, the melting of icecaps, continents on fire and rapid deforestation. Taken from the Global Recycling Day website – visit for more information.
Recycling is something that we can all do, and is a really easy way of making your contribution to the circular economy! We all have access to recycling, so making the change of separating recyclable items from our everyday rubbish is an easy lifestyle change that makes a huge difference. Here at Magic Pixies we like to look at the problem and how we can deal with the outcome, whilst also looking at how we can lessen the problem in the future, in both our main locations: Brighton & Royal Tunbridge Wells.
Depending on where you live, you will either have a recycling collection day or nearby communal recycling bins. If you’re unsure whether you have a collection or not/when your collection is, you can check on the council website here for Brighton and here for Royal Tunbridge Wells.
Alternative Recycling Schemes
Magpie – Brighton
The Magpie Cooperative began in 1990 in Hanover, with three volunteers collecting drink cans, glass and office paper from local residents and businesses. Since then they have become a co-operative limited company, expanding and moving to their current premises at Saunders Park. In 1996 they started their Greenbox kerbside collection scheme, which now has over 2000 customers throughout Brighton and Hove.
The Greenbox kerbside collection scheme collect weekly, collecting a wider range of materials than the council schemes. They don’t ship anything abroad, recycling everything they collect as locally as possible! They also use electric vehicles powered by green energy to do their collections. You can find out more information on this page.
Magpie also offer consultation services for local authorities, working in partnership with the University of Brighton. They also offer business recycling including confidential shredding, toner recycling and more.
If you have any furniture at home that you’re no longer in need for, Magpie will collect this free of charge and sell it on at cost to those on low incomes at Shabitat.
To learn more about Magpie, visit their website!
Ecobricks enable us to take personal responsibility for our plastic and transition to regenerative living. When we save, segregate and pack plastics into bottles, we can make building blocks that can be reused over and over again.
An Ecobrick is a plastic bottle, packed tightly with used plastic to make a reusable building block. These blocks can be used to build modules, furniture, cards, food forest play parks and more. Ecobricking puts plastic on a safe and secure millennial road out of the industry and out of the biosphere. It’s a great way to not just recycle, but create something yourself from your own plastic waste! You can learn more on the Ecobrick website.
Ecobricking is a global movement, but there are local groups for ecobricking in your area! These groups enable you to learn more from seasoned ecobrickers and work together on community projects, or trade bricks as and when needed! On Facebook you can join Ecobricks UK or if you’re in Brighton, they have their own Ecobrick Club page.
Other Solutions To Reduce Waste
Recycling isn’t just separating your bottles and cans into different bins.. It’s the idea of something being used again, for someone else or another purpose. And this can be more literal than we think! There are other ways to ‘recycle’ rather than just throw items away.
Fashion is highly polluting industry, so shopping our clothing sustainably couldn’t be more important.Clothing is one of the easiest things to give another lease of life! Whether you donate your clothes via a clothing bank or charity shop or sell it on via ebay/depop/Facebook marketplace/carboot sale.
Buying secondhand clothes is a great way of reducing waste too.. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! This is a great way to fill your wardrobe without buying brand new items (especially fast fashion) and will probably save you money too. There are more local schemes out there, such as Bagsy It’s Mine and Super Looper Life. Or, keep an eye out for an events close to you. Clothes swaps can be easily organised (just like the old carboot sale), so if your town doesn’t have one, why not organise one yourself?
If it’s broken, don’t throw it away.. Fix it! Repair Cafes runs events for those with broken items, and those with the skills to fix them! It’s volunteer based, and a great way to reduce waste and give items a new lease of life. By offering your skills as a fixer, you can also teach and pass on these skills to those at the event so next time they can try and fix their own items! Check out the Repair Cafes in both Brighton and Royal Tunbridge Wells.
This is something we’ve seen a lot more of during lockdown! Upcycling refers to taking a piece of furniture (or anything really) and making it your own, by giving it a bit of an update.. You can paint or spray items, change the handles/knobs, replace glass… Get creative! Next time you’re looking for a new item of furniture for your home, why not have a look on Pinterest and get some ideas for something you can upcycle! Then take a look on marketplace/gumtree/second hand shops for what you need. It’s a fun way to save money and contribute to a circular economy.
We hope you’ve found the information in this blog useful and you check out some of the alternative ways of recycling or start using the council recycling services if you didn’t before, in addition to thinking twice before throwing something away!