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England residents were being encouraged to recycle more household waste more often today (Monday 27th September 2004), when four times Olympic champion, Matthew Pinsent CBE, swapped his gold medals and rowing boat for a giant motorised can to launch the first national advertising campaign of its kind in England.  
Organised by WRAP (the Waste & Resources Action Programme)    
on behalf of the Government, 'Recycle Now' will be spearheaded by a £10 million multi-media advertising campaign that will be seen by 4.3 million people across England.

Recycle Now will be led by a series of three innovative TV ads that break today and aim to capture the imagination of [AREA] residents by focusing on the endless possibilities for recycling. Popular comedian and actor, Eddie Izzard provides the voice-over for the TV ads, which feature three of the commonest items of household waste, namely metal cans (steel and aluminium), glass bottles and paper, being transformed into interesting new everyday items through recycling.

Said Olympic hero Matthew Pinsent: "I've always been a big believer in recycling and it's something that I do all the time without really thinking about it - I use my local council's doorstep collection services which makes it really easy to recycle all my old newspapers and empty glass bottles and cans every week."

Matthew, who even recycles his old rowing kits, added: "I think this campaign's onto a real winner by reminding us how easy it is to recycle now. By showing what amazing things recycled rubbish is being made into it also really grabs the imagination and provides the inspiration to do more of it."

Jennie Price, Chief Executive of WRAP, said: "Our research shows clearly that 8 out of 10 people say they recycle some of the time and that they have a genuine interest in finding out what happens to the things they recycle.

"This campaign will fire people's imaginations and show that recycled rubbish can be transformed into an amazing array of new products. The possibilities for recycling really are endless and the campaign aims to demonstrate how people's efforts will make a big difference."

Commenting on the new campaign, Environment Minister, Elliot Morley said: "Recycling is easier then it has ever been before. Five years ago, kerbside collection schemes covered only 40% of homes. Today, more than 2 in 3 homes have kerbside collection schemes and there is an ever expanding network of 'bring' sites at your local supermarket and other convenient areas near your home - and it is improving all the time.

"It is time to stop thinking of waste as rubbish. It is a resource with potentially many different uses and markets for recycled goods present a major opportunity for UK businesses."

Although as a nation we've never been better at recycling - the national recycling rate for England is now at 14.5%, double the rate six years ago - we still produce more rubbish than ever before and continue to bury most of it in landfill sites.

Recycle Now has received the firm backing of local authorities and their partners, whose support is vital to ensure the on-going success of the campaign.

A new consumer website - www.recyclenow.com - has also been launched providing lots of top tips on how to recycle as well as outlining the amazing range of items that recycled household rubbish is being made into. The website features an easy-to-use recycling bank locator to enable visitors to click on and find the location of their nearest recycling service.

To find out more, visit the RecycleNow website.





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