More recycling from pen to paper
04 August 2017
By Hayley Carmichael
The more recycling we can do the better, so why are do we not recycle more?
One person can make it happen
Sally Anker is a proactive care co-ordinator at SCFT based in Shoreham health centre. She approached our waste team with a question, why aren’t we recycling pens? We certainly get through them – it was a good question. Sally also had the answer, she’d seen an opportunity to create a recycling station for pens, and decided to walk the talk and get it set up. Here she tells us why…
“I began looking into ‘The Writing Instruments Recycling Programme’, run by TerraCycle as I find current levels of waste appalling, there is just so much waste in the world it’s scary.
Just follow ‘Surfers against sewage’ or ‘Greenpeace’ on social media for a couple of weeks to understand that the way we are living isn’t sustainable. Plastic is a huge problem and the way our innocent bird and marine life is effected is so saddening to see.”
“Obviously being in healthcare we are limited to what plastic products and packaging we can reduce-most consumables being sterile etc. However if we can all at least think about what we can reduce and recycle it is a step forward.”
We can all do something
Sally is passionate in her conviction that we all have the power to create change, “I truly believe it’s everybody’s responsibility to think about their impact on the planet.”
Sally has some key questions she firmly believes we need to ask ourselves before buying or disposing of the items in our lives..
• Can it be re-used?
• Can it be recycled?
• Can I get it second hand?
• Do I really need this?
• Is there an eco-alternative?
When it comes to considering eco alternatives Sally is ahead of the game, she uses a bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic, and buys her fruit & veg loose at the supermarket to avoid the plastic packaging.
So it felt natural to her to extend this thinking to waste in the workplace.
Ethical and practical
She says, “Simple ways forward like this help to support change. The TerraCycle scheme not only supports these ethics but helps to raise money for our selected charity so it’s an absolute win, win!”
“A labelled box sits in our office which everyone can use to drop used pens off in, when the box is full I will print off a freepost shipping label from the site and send the box off. Easy and at no cost to the Trust.”
Sally continues, “The more pens we collect the more we raise for our charity-St Barnabas House hospice. I can also inform other businesses in the area of the scheme and let them know where the collection point is too.
The website provides letter templates and posters so the work involved is next to nothing. The used pens become benches and bins so get a completely new lease of life. There are all kinds of schemes TerraCycle offer from cosmetic bottles to biscuit wrappers. I think they are uch a great company with such a great idea! “
If you’d like to set up your own pen collection point where you work, visit the Terracycle website to register.