In light of the recent sad news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll last week, the decision’s been taken – quite rightly of course - to postpone Recycle Week 2022, which had been scheduled for next week. The organisers are working to draw up a new date which I’m hoping won’t be too far ahead, because Recycle Week is the one week of the year where retailers, brands, waste management companies, trade associations, governments and the media come together to achieve one goal: to galvanise the public into recycling more of the right things, more often – and it makes a huge and important difference to our awareness and our behaviour throughout the rest of the year.
The eyes of the world have been on the UK since events surrounding the loss of such an inspirational global figure as Her Majesty first started unfolding almost a week ago. TV coverage has been continuous, giving those outside of these lands a glimpse of areas they probably don’t normally see. In my household the TV’s been on in the background as we’ve worked, and we’ve dipped in and out as and when we’ve felt the need. And perhaps because I’ve been part of this industry for so long, I’ve not only looked at the proceedings, the awe-inspiring ceremony, the historic buildings and the faces; but I’ve also looked at the background and have noted that the streets and green spaces appear, unusually, to have been rubbish-free. Is this because the cleaning crews have been working overtime to ensure everything’s perfect or are the locals perhaps being more respectful of our environment, because of the sad turn of events?
I recall taking my then young children up to the funeral of Diana, our previous Princess of Wales. They slept on the street outside Westminster Abbey the night prior to the funeral and made frequent trips to the washrooms. I subsequently wrote about how clean and rubbish-free everything had been and in particular, how perfectly-maintained and well-stocked the public toilets – both permanent and temporary – had been throughout. It will be interesting to see if this level of cleanliness and collective respect for one another and our environment will be matched over the days leading to the State Funeral on Monday and whether the ‘coming together’ of so many different parts of our various communities for such a momentous occasion will galvanise all those who attend, to be more aware of the need to ‘leave no trace’ in the future.