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Sports heroes back drive.

Byline: By Francesca Craggs

We are turning into a nation of "recycling champions" claimed Olympic hero Sir Matthew Pinsent as he launched the BIG recycle this week.

The four-time Olympic rowing gold medallist said UK households and businesses are recycling more waste packaging than ever before, according to a major new study.

He also called on people in Newcastle to become recycling champions by simply recycling more bottles, jars or newspapers.

Sir Matthew said: "I've always been a big believer in recycling and use my local council's doorstep collection service.

"I don't even have to think about it now ( I just do it.

"If we all realised what a massive difference we could make by recycling used packaging, such as food and drinks cans, card, glass and plastic bottles and jars, I think we would all do it."

The BIG recycle is a local, action-focused promotional and education campaign which encourages the public to recycle more household waste.

The involvement of local authority recycling officers and community groups is crucial to the success of the campaign.

"Together, with your support in running local activities aimed at encouraging recycling, we can make a significant impact on local awareness of recycling, all over the country," said Sir Matthew.

Sir Matthew and Sarah Beeny, presenter of Channel 4's Property Ladder, Paralympic champion Tanni Grey-Thompson and former Olympic athlete Roger Black are all backing the campaign.

The BIG recycle is jointly organised and funded by WRAP ( a UK programme established to promote resource efficiency ( in partnership with the leading materials recycling organisations British Glass, Corus, Novelis (formerly Alcan), PaperChain, the Corrugated Packaging Industry, Recoup and Valpak.

Ben Bradshaw, Parliamentary Secretary for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: "I welcome this new study which shows that households and businesses are recycling more than ever before, which is excellent news.

"There is no doubt that it is becoming easier to recycle in the UK, and that people are becoming increasingly keen to do so.

"However, there is still room for improvement. The study does indicate that meeting European 2008 packaging waste targets will be challenging.

"We need to continue expanding our recycling infrastructure, and encouraging all households and businesses to play their part. Awareness-raising campaigns such as `the BIG recycle' have an important role in shifting public attitudes."
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 30, 2005
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