Recycle Week targets the ‘Unusual Suspects’

12th September 2016

For the 13th Recycle Week, which kicked off today, WRAP’s national consumer campaign, Recycle Now, is using the theme of ‘The Unusual Suspects’ to target the less obvious recyclable items found throughout our homes, such as aerosols and plastic cleaning bottles.

We’re all familiar with the ‘usual’ recyclables – plastic drinks bottles, food and drinks cans, jam jars, cardboard boxes and newspapers – but WRAP research highlights that many people are binning at least one thing their council collects at the kerbside*.  

To help people spot those ‘unusual’ recyclables that are often missed, the campaign is engaging the public across its digital platforms. It highlights those hidden items, such as shampoo and cleaning bottles from the bathroom and tissue boxes from the living room. It also uses new motivational messages that have been developed to bring home the benefits of recycling, such as ‘recycling one hand soap dispenser every month for a year saves enough energy to bake yourself a birthday cake.’

Central to the week’s activities is ‘The Unusual Suspects’ film – Recycle Now’s take on the well-known cult crime thriller film of 1992 entitled The Usual Suspects. A trailer has been running on the Recycle Now website and Facebook to build anticipation for the week and has already attracted almost 160,000 views. The first instalment of the film is released today – with more episodes throughout the week as the story continues, culminating in the chance to win a set of Joseph Joseph in home recycling bins or an iPad. 

Recycle Now is working with partners to spread the messages right across the UK.  Partners are using a range of Recycle Now communications materials and are engaging enthusiastically.  

Alice Harlock, Recycle Now spokesperson, said:  “It’s become routine to recycle the usual suspects in our kitchens, but some items around the home like perfume bottles and beauty cream pots are often overlooked. Our research tells us just 12% of people are doing all they can when it comes to recycling, so Recycle Week is a great opportunity to ask people to take a fresh look at their recycling habits and consider those lesser recognised items, so we can collect more of the right things.“

To get involved, download the partner's resource pack and to find out more about Recycle Week and see the ‘The Unusual Suspects’ film visit


Notes to editors:

*almost half (49%) of UK households dispose of one or more items in the residual bin that are collected for recycling in their area. The scope for increasing capture is highest for foil, aerosols and plastic cleaning bottles. In addition, households miss opportunities to recycle across different rooms in the home – most commonly aerosols from the bedroom and bathroom (WRAP’s Tracker Survey 2016)

About WRAP

1 WRAP’s vision is a world where resources are used sustainably. We work with businesses, individuals and communities to help them reap the benefits of reducing waste, developing sustainable products and using resources in an efficient way.

2 Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

3 Recycle Now is a campaign to encourage people in England to recycle more things more often from all around the home. 

4 More information on all of WRAP's programmes can be found on and for more information on the Recycle Now campaign visit