Partners across Plymouth join forces to tackle plastics for Recycle Week 2018

Volunteers from the Port of Plymouth Canoeing Association who took part in the Great British Beach Clean

A range of public, private and voluntary sector partners in Plymouth have joined forces to promote this year’s Recycle Week (24 – 30 September 2018).

Members of the Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City Plastics Task Group are continuing to work together to tackle single use plastics and tackle plastic pollution, and partners are taking part in a number of events and will also be sharing recycling messages on social media. Recycling Officers will be providing recycling advice and support at events including Freshers Fairs and the Plymotion: Businesses on the Move event. The National Marine Aquarium will also put on daily interactive shows throughout Recycle Week about how plastics affect the ocean.

Plymouth made history over the summer when it was the first city waterfront district in the UK to be awarded Plastic Free Communities accreditation with Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), and partners launched the Plan for Plastics. The campaign got a further boost with a visit from Plymouth-born UN Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh during The Long Swim in July.

Plymouth’s Plan for Plastics aims to tackle plastic pollution and reduce single use plastics.

The message of Recycle Week this year is: Recycling. We do. Because it matters. Locally all partners will be using the hashtag #recycleplym2018 throughout the week on Twitter.

Now in its 15th year, Recycle Week is led by WRAP and this year the focus is on the plastic products that you can recycle from different rooms in your own home. The partners all recently took part in The Great British Beach Clean which saw volunteers from across Plymouth doing their bit to tackle plastic pollution on our coastline. Plymouth Beach Clean Volunteers had a record 63 volunteers at their Mount Batten Beach Clean, while Sea Champions South West collected 10.5kg of waste from Bovisand, and the Port of Plymouth Canoeing Association collected five bags of plastic waste.

Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member for Environment and Street Scene for Plymouth City Council, said: “The Plastics Task Group is driving forward the campaign to reduce single use plastics in the city and to increase recycling, so Recycle Week is an excellent opportunity to promote this. It’s great that so many partners have got on board and supported Plymouth’s effort to reduce single use plastics.

“Many of us recycle items from our kitchen such as plastic milk bottles but we forget about the rest of the house. But it’s easy to recycle items from other rooms in your home as well, including the bathroom such as shampoo bottles, and items from your living room such as newspapers and drinks cans.”

Plymouth’s waterfront achieved Plastic Free Communities status in June and partners are now aiming to get citywide status.

Jackie Young, Environment Plymouth Coordinator, said: “Doing your bit for the environment has never been so easy. Everyone can take part in securing Plastic Free Community status for the whole of the city. After refusing, replacing, reusing and refilling…please recycle! It’s all part of the solution. We already have over 80 Plastic Free business pioneers and 60 community ambassadors working towards success… why not join us?”

Roger Maslin, CEO of the National Marine Aquarium, said: “Recycle Week is an important reminder to people of why it’s important to think about the plastic products we use and how we can all do our bit to reduce, re-use, and recycle plastics.”

Roger added: “As a marine conservation and education charity our focus is to connect people with our Oceans. The Oceans are vitally important to the health of our planet and it is becoming increasingly important for people to understand the effects of plastics on them. It’s fantastic to see people making pro-Ocean behaviour changes and the increasing awareness of their responsibility to care for this vital resource. We are extremely proud of the achievement of a ‘plastic free waterfront’ and we will continue to play our part in tackling the quantity of single use plastics used in Plymouth and further beyond.”

Professor Richard Thompson OBE, Head of the International Marine Litter Research Unit at the University of Plymouth, said: “This is another excellent opportunity to step up our collective efforts to tackle plastic pollution. The University is already playing a proactive role in global research into the issue, and helping both students and staff to consider recycling and reusing as part of their daily lives. We always try to reinforce that everyone has a part to play in helping to reduce the quantity of plastic waste they generate, and Recycle Week 2018 is the perfect time to continue doing that.”


Events for Recycle Week 2018

Tuesday 18 September Freshers Fair University of Plymouth Campus 10am to 4pm University of Plymouth Student Union
Friday 21 September Freshers Fair University of St Mark and St John (MarJon) University of St Mark and St John (MarJon)
All week (24 – 30 September) Discovery and Learning Team interactive show about how plastics affect the ocean and the positive impact people can have. National Marine Aquarium 1pm daily National Marine Aquarium
Tuesday 25 September Plymotion: Businesses On The Move Plymouth Guildhall 10am to 2pm Plymotion (Plymouth City Council Sustainable Transport team)

Lewis Pugh, UN Patron of the Oceans and Channel Swimmer, who helped promote our Plan for Plastics, Plastic Free Waterfront and the reusable plastic cups during his visit to Plymouth.

Plastic Facts

Everything you recycle brings real benefits. It comes back again and again as new stuff, saving resources and the environment. Examples include:

  • Plastic bottles can be recycled into new plastic bottles, packaging, drainage pipes, flooring and signage
  • The kerbstones on the Tamar Bridge are made from 5 million recycled plastic milk bottles


  • Only around 45 per cent of plastic bottles in the UK are recycled.
  • Using recycled materials in the manufacturing process uses considerably less energy than required for producing new plastic products from scratch – 75 per cent less in fact, meaning the impact on the environment is lowered.


  • Plastic bottles
  • Shampoo bottles
  • All plastic food trays
  • Yoghurt pots
  • Margarine tubs
  • Ice cream tubs
  • Fruit punnets
  • Detergent bottles


  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic film
  • Polystyrene


More information

Find out about recycling and what else you can do to support the Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City Plan for Plastics:

More detail on what can be recycled in Plymouth is also available here:

Plastic Free Waterfront

Look out for the Plastic Free Waterfront Plymouth logo in blue and pink that celebrates Plymouth’s commitment to becoming a Surfers Against Sewage plastic free community and links us with other dedicated communities across the world. Environment Plymouth are leading on this piece of work and are recruiting Plastic Free Ambassadors and Pioneers. For more information contact

About the Britain’s Ocean City Plastics Task Group

Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City Plastics Task Group is a joint initiative to reduce single use plastics and tackle plastic pollution. Organisations involved in the Taskforce are:

  • Babcock
  • Destination Plymouth
  • Environment Agency
  • Environment Plymouth
  • Marine Biological Association
  • National Marine Aquarium
  • Plymouth City Council
  • Plymouth Community Homes
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • Plymouth Waterfront Partnership
  • Redrok
  • Theatre Royal Plymouth
  • University of Plymouth