NUS launches recycling competition for universities

The National Union of Students has teamed up with Coca-Cola to launch a national recycling competition for eleven UK universities.

Launching during Recycle week on September 23-29, the eleven universities will be competing to see who can improve their recycling rates the most, competing for the ‘coveted’ golden recycling bins and a £15,000 cash prize.

Recycle week is part of the Recycle Now initiative, supported and funded by the government, which aims to encourage people to take personal action when it comes to recycling and managing their waste. As part of their campaign, Recycle Now has highlighted that 79% of plastic ever produced is still in the environment, but that 60% of households are now recycling more than they were a year ago due to environmental concerns.

For the competition, each university has been given £1,800 to rally students and staff as they begin the eight-week competition starting on October 1. Coca-Cola is funding the competition to encourage students to recycle more, and to drive innovation in recycling.

The competition is in line with Coca-Cola’s sustainable packaging strategy, which aims to ensure all their packaging is recycled by 2025 so that none of it ends up as litter or in the oceans.

Gordon McSkimming, Sustainable Packaging Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners said: ‘We have a vision of a world without waste and sustainability has been at the heart of our business for many years. Encouraging people to recycle more often will help us to get that material back so that we can make it into new bottles and cans again.’

The overall winner of RecycleLeague will be able to use the prize money to further enhance sustainable projects on campus and to also throw a sustainable party on campus to celebrate the win.

Jamie Agombar, head of sustainability at NUS, said: ‘Recycling is so important, but it has become less of a priority for many students as comingled recycling bins and waste to fuel have become the norm. We are going to change that and make recycling the default on our campuses through friendly competition.’

Photo Credit – National Union of Students

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