Tag Archives: creative

The Art of Recycling: Does the UK care as much about the environment as we think we do?

As individuals, could we be doing more to help the environment? We looked a little closer at some of the UK’s recycling habits and learnt that on average, every seven weeks people in the UK throw away their own body weight in rubbish.[i]

The benefits of recycling are clear. Manufacturing one aluminium drinks can uses the same amount of energy as recycling twenty.[ii] What’s more, there would be 14 million fewer full dustbins every year if we recycled all the aluminium drinks cans sold in the UK.[iii] All our Rajapack cardboard boxes are 100% recyclable and we’re always working towards growing our range of environmentally-friendly packaging solutions.

94% of British adults say they care about the environment

What are the effects of not recycling as much as we could? Earth Overshoot Day gives us an idea of how much we are harming the environment.

Earth Overshoot Day

We use more from nature than the planet can renew. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date each year when we have consumed more than can be regenerated.  Thirty years ago, in 1987, this day fell on the 19th December. Ten years ago, 2007, it was 26th October.[iv] In 2017 Earth Overshoot Day falls on the 2nd August.

This is a clear indication we need to start doing more to help the environment. So, we decided to find out a bit more about the public’s attitudes to recycling. Local councils provide plastic crates, bins and bags – usually free of charge – specifically to make recycling easier for us. But is it working?

Are we a throwaway society?

In the country, 96% know aluminium cans are recyclable, only 76% that use them recycle them

Since 2010, the amount the UK recycles has been increasing. However, in 2015 this rate dropped.[v] To find out a little more about this decline, we commissioned a YouGov survey to find out how the British public really feels about recycling.

Our results show that almost everyone in Great Britain says they care about the environment (94%), but almost half of them (47%) feel they could recycle more than they currently do. This is despite almost three-quarters of the British public (74%) thinking their local council makes it easy for them to recycle. Do people simply not have the time to sort out their recycling?

We found out that although almost everyone in the country knows that aluminium cans can be recycled (96%), only 76% of those who use them say they recycle them every time. In Wales, 100% of people who responded to our survey knew that aluminium can be recycled, but only 80% said they recycle their empty cans every time.

100% of the Welsh know aluminium cans are recyclable, only 80% recycle them

Does a lack of knowledge around what can be recycled contribute to people not recycling more? Polystyrene isn’t a commonly recycled material, but some councils do accept it at household recycling centres.[vi] Yet over a third of Brits (37%) think polystyrene can be recycled, while nearly half of them believe it can never be recycled. Only 13% of those in Britain admitted they didn’t know.

Recycling cardboard

One of the most common packaging materials in the UK is corrugated cardboard[vii], which means most of us will probably have it in our homes in some form. The good news from our survey is Brits are more likely to recycle cardboard than any other material we asked about, with 79% of people who use it saying they always recycle it.

Our findings back up the statement that cardboard has the best recycling rate of any packaging material in the UK. This high rate of recycling means that cardboard boxes made in the UK contain up to 76% recycled material, on average. Some boxes are constructed from 100% recycled material. [viii]

The most recycled materials is cardboard, 79% say they always recycle it

How can we improve?

Although it’s worrying that recycling rates in the UK have dropped from previous years, it isn’t too late to do something about it. With people in the UK willing to admit they aren’t always sure what can be recycled, there is scope to educate people about what can and can’t be put into their recycling bins.

Many businesses are beginning use more eco-friendly packaging solutions. At Rajapack, we offer eco-friendly and recycled packaging across our range and our Packaging Specialists are always on hand to provide information on how to make more environmentally-responsible packaging choices.

If you want to find out more about what you can recycle in your local area, this tool from Recycle Now will tell you everything you need to know.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2026 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th-18th July 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

 [i]http://www.amgen-cymru.com/recycling_facts.php

[ii]http://www.amgen-cymru.com/recycling_facts.php

[iii]http://www.amgen-cymru.com/recycling_facts.php

[iv] http://www.overshootday.org/newsroom/past-earth-overshoot-days/

[v]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/593040/UK_statsonwaste_statsnotice_Dec2016_FINALv2_2.pdf

[vi] https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/polystyrene-1

[vii] https://cardboard.org.uk/what-is-corrugated-cardboard/

[viii] https://cardboard.org.uk/what-is-corrugated-cardboard/

Creative Ideas for Tape

Packaging tape comes in many different varieties, ranging from industrial tape which secures heavy duty items, to custom printed tape which strengthens brand and design messages, and low-tack tape applied to windows for the building trade. At Rajapack, we feel that it’s one of the most versatile products on the market.

Packaging tape

Packaging tape is not usually the first material people think of when they think of craft materials, but it’s extremely versatile and can be used in many types of project in order to customise an item or strengthen the structure.

To discover some of the lesser known creative uses of packaging tape, we sat down with two talented craft bloggers: The Crafty Gentleman and The Makery to discuss the different ways that tape can give a new lease of life to items.

Washi Tape Coasters by The Crafty Gentleman Packaging tape on coasters

The Crafty Gentleman was set up by Mike as a way of publishing more craft projects for men. These days, The Crafty Gentleman covers anything and everything that is craft or DIY related. As Mike puts it in his own words: “I’ll try making anything!”

He told us:

“I’m really into DIY and crafts, so I use printed tape quite often – it’s such an easy way to add colour or pattern to a project. Aside from the obvious uses in gift wrapping, printed tape can be used in so many creative ways. For example, I’ve used it to make wall art, makeshift picture frames, greetings cards and loads more.

My most recent DIY project with tape was a set of handmade drinks coasters. Get the full tutorial over on my blog at The Crafty Gentleman. You’ll be amazed at how easy they are to make! All you need is some printed sticky tape, plus a cork ring and some sealant or PVA glue (all of this is easy to find at any good craft shop). The great thing is that you can choose any colour/design of printed tape you want, so you can really personalise it to your home.

Why did I use printed tape? Because it’s such an easy way to add a strong colour and sharp design. If I’d used paint, or even printed a design at home, I don’t think I’d have achieved the same bold and eye-catching effect. I made the coasters a month or so ago when I moved house and they’ve held up really well. Give it a go and see what you can create!”

You can find out how to make the coasters for yourself here.

Decorating Jars & Mini Bunting by The Makery

The Makery Online Shop is a haven of creative delights, with an ever-expanding array of beautiful, carefully-sourced fabrics, craft kits and materials. You can pop into The Makery shop in Bath, or buy your craft supplies online.

They told us:

“Printed tape is a wonderful thing! We love it here at The Makery, and we use it all day long, whether that’s sealing up pretty packages, making handmade cards or just decorating everyday objects.

You can easily use coloured or patterned tape to decorate old jars. Just cut some neat strips from your tape and wrap carefully around your jars, horizontally or vertically, to make a stripy pattern. You can spell out names or words, and you could even experiment with cutting little triangles or zig zag patterns. Try popping a tea light inside to illuminate your design!

Packaging tape creative

lovelyvintage.canalblog

You can easily make mini bunting from any sort of sticky tape, you’ll just need a few different tapes and a little bit of string or twine. Cut out a diamond shape from your tape, and fold it in half around the twine by sticking it to itself. Then carry on making triangles until the bunting is your desired length.

You can use this to decorate handmade cards, or as a mini crafty display. Try using different coloured or patterned sticky tape, to create a sequence in your bunting flags. You could also try making square or heart shaped flags for your bunting. “ 

Three other creative ways to use tape

1. Printed messages and labels

Unusual packaging tape

James Greenfield

With custom printed tape you can decorate things with a whole range of messages or labels, from “Happy Birthday” to more practical labels such as “Pasta” or “Pens”.

2. Build a spider web game for children

Creative Halloween ideas

Handsonaswegrow

Building a spider’s web for your children is so easy to do and it encourages hours of fun. Simply find a doorway or adjoining walls and create wacky patterns by stretching your printed tape across the gap. Your children will love how their living room turns into a scene from a story book.

3. Decorating candle holders

Craft candle designNot only will this spruce up some plain old candle holders, but using different colours will result in some fantastic light effects. Similarly, with patterned printed tape, you can achieve some great shadow effects.

Customise items of any size and shape

There are many different reasons for customising items, from businesses looking to strengthen their brand message, to individuals giving their possessions a refreshing make-over.  Printed tape offers a low cost, simple way for people to easily customise any item in many different ways.