Your Rubbish Can Save Lives

Passionate recyclers Richard (53), Rachelle (37) and Verona (9) Strauss from the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire are celebrating the success of their pioneering recycling scheme to dispose of crisp packets environmentally.

They set up a recycling point in their local Tesco store to accept crisp wrappers which currently go to landfill.

After three months the Strauss family collected more than 12,000 crisp packets, weighing over 21kgs.

“This is a fantastic result which will make a difference to the lives of families in the Philippines. The crisp packets are sent to the Philippines where they are sanitised and woven into handbags and pencil cases. Once these crisp bags are made into products, the profits will keep 12 children out of poverty for a year and enable them to get an education. Alternatively we could build eight 2 roomed and four 1 roomed houses to replace the shanties these families are living in.” Said Rachelle

Last year, Rachelle and her family sent just one dustbin full of waste to landfill. Everything else was reused, composted or recycled.

“We would love to see other stores setting up collection points for recycling crisp packets. If we can divert empty crisp packets to the Philippines we can turn the lives around of children. Children as young as four search through mounds of putrid garbage in the blistering heat for items to sell to a recycling agent for as little as £1 for a 10 hour working day” said Richard.

Their progress can be followed at  My Zero Waste where 100,000 readers per month pick up advise, tips and support for reducing their own waste.

Crisp packets were also used by rock band Recoup for the CD sleeve for their single ‘Remind You.’ You can read more about their recycling efforts here.

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