This week is Recycle Week, a campaign created by Recycle Now, 18 years ago, to bring together “retailers, brands, waste management companies, trade associations, governments and the media to achieve one goal: to galvanise the public into recycling more of the right things, more often.”
The focus of this year is to “Step It Up”.
The climate crisis is a difficult, and let’s face it, a stressful topic which makes us all want to hide under the covers. Climate anxiety is a real thing which, chances are, you are experiencing if you are reading this. But that’s OK, because it means you care, and the good news is, we can do something about it, and Step It Up.
It’s not all doom and gloom: We can change the trajectory and encourage action and change at all levels, starting within your own household all the way up to government. How do we do this? By stepping it up, little by little, every day in small yet meaningful ways. Starting a conversation and making small but meaningful actions into habits will encourage results. Recycle Now want to inspire everyone to start engaging with recycling.
“Our evidence shows that Recycle week is changing people’s behaviour, of the people who saw Recycle Week in 2020 a whopping 92% found it motivating and 89% of those people changed their recycling behaviours; this shows the power of Recycle Week.” -Recycle Now
So, where to start?
If you don’t know where to start with recycling, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Apparently only 18% of adults say that they feel confident about what can be recycled. In our opinion this comes down to a lack of clear guidance and instructions. There are many challenges and limitations to efficient recycling, but clear guidance should not be one of them. So, this is just one of the ways we Step It Up at Elysian Theory: Next to every product we provide recycling steps and state clearly whether part of a package or vessel is recyclable or not. We believe transparency is essential to making a true and positive change and one of the foundations of our core principles.
Every day and with every decision we make, we aim to Step It Up. As a brand and retailer who cares and is committed, we thoroughly think through every product, vessel and packaging that we carry. Recycling and the life-cycle, particularly the end-of-life-cycle, of our materials are at the forefront of our decisions. We make an intentional and conscious choice on everything that comes through our doors: From our own packaging to that of our brands. We do not shy away from stating when materials are not recyclable, as we strongly believe that with this sort of mindset we can make a positive impact and encourage real change in the industry and ultimately on our beloved planet.
Stepping it Up at Elysian Theory
The ultimate aim of recycling is to reduce our growing waste problem, reducing ever-growing landfills and devastating ocean pollution and to give materials a second, and hopefully multiple chance in life. This is where choosing materials that can be recycled multiple times is key, alongside an efficient recycling system. Some of the brands we choose to stock, like Juni Cosmetics and AKT, use the infinitely recyclable material Aluminium, for 100% of their vessel.
At Elysian Theory, we exclusively work with brands and founders who are conscious about their environmental impact and translate this into the production and packaging of their products. Similarly, we do our best to use recycled and FSC certified materials. We limit the amount of plastic we carry and are proudly 96% plastic-free so far, by this we mean the materials we use and the products we stock.
Boxes: All of our boxes and packaging are made from 100% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable.
Protective Packaging Materials: We use FSC certified materials, including our wrapping paper, crinkly paper and tape, which are fully or partly made of FSC certified paper. Our packing peanuts are 100% biodegradable leaving no toxic residue, micro-plastics or chemicals. Simply run under water and it will dissolve in seconds!
Stickers: Our labeled stickers have a glossy finish which are made from durable vinyl. Vinyl can be recycled up to 8 times. However due to it being difficult to recycle, we are currently in the process of improving our stickers to ones which are easily and 100% recyclable.
Thank You Cards: The cards we include in our packaging to thank you, are made out of recycled fashion waste- Cotton T-shirts to be exact!
Wondering what FSC means exactly?
FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council who are a non-profit organisation dedicated to sustainable forestry, protecting our world’s forest.
FSC certified products ensure that materials come from responsible forestry, providing environmental, social and economic benefits. You may see 3 different FSC labels, these are what they all mean:
FSC 100% means that all the materials are sourced from responsible forests, audited by an independent third party, ensuring rigorous social and environmental standards are upheld. This is the highest mark of distinction for certified products according to FSC.
FSC Recycled means that it is a mix of either post consumer or pre consumer reclaimed paper materials. The benefits of the use of recycled materials is huge:
“One ton of paper from recycled pulp saves 17 trees, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 7000 gallons of water, 4200 kWh (enough to heat a home for half a year), 390 gallons of oil, and prevents 60 pounds of air pollutants. Choosing recycled paper stops virgin paper materials from being added to circulation, while keeping waste materials in use.” -MIT
FSC Mix means that the materials of the product are made using a mixture of FSC-certified forests, recycled materials, and/or FSC controlled wood.
We rely on so many forest products in our daily life such as paper, toilet paper, alternatives to single use plastics; like bags, straws, food containers and cotton buds, all the way to our home furnishings, toys, instruments and so on. Even the charcoal for those summer barbecues come from the forest!
If you have a look around, you will notice many more “forest” items. Alongside these daily items, there are other items that you may not realise are also forest products such as rubbers (from rubber trees) used for car and bicycle tires. A lot of fruits, like berries, mushroom, nuts, honey and important plants that are used in medicines and beyond, come from the forest as well. So, it’s so important to protect our forests for our wildlife, for our environment and for the smooth running of our daily and modern life.
The FSC standard takes care of our forests and ensures that ingredients for medicines are available for generations to come. So many communities, and our world as a whole, rely on the gifts our forests give us: so it’s vital that our modern needs are met in a responsible and sustainable way.
Our Simple Guide to Stepping it Up:
As a committed retailer, we want our customers to be well informed, make conscious choices and guide them as best we can.
Here is a general guide on recycling:
1. Recycle clean bottles, cans, paper, cardboard
2. Keep items clean and food and liquids out of recycling
3. Don’t mix loose plastic bags in with recycling
If you want to know more on how to recycle a specific product we carry, check on the product page, under ‘The Recycling Steps’.
Whether your recyclable product ends up being recycled is dependent on many factors, one being your local recycling facilities. It’s worth looking into them. Generally, looking at your local council’s website is a sure way to start and help you better understand your local recycling options.
Here are some links to get you started, with local your recycling facilities:
UK: UK government
Germany: Muelltrennung Wirkt
If you’re still unsure, about what goes where, fret not! Just drop us an email and we will do our best to help!
Happy Recycle Week 2021!