Recycling in the UK
In the UK almost 19 million plastic bottles are put into a landfill everyday.
Recycling 1 plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb
for 3 hours.
Did you know... We throw away 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink per year in the
UK. Most of this (5.3 million tonnes) could have been consumed. That's like filling
4,700 Olympic sized swimming pools.
In terms of environmental impact, producing, storing and getting the food and drink
to our homes uses a lot of energy. If we stopped wasting all this food and drink,
it would save the equivalent of at least 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. That's
like taking 1 in 4 cars off UK roads.
UK households produced 30 million tonnes of waste in 2008/09, of which only 21%
was collected for recycling. This figure is still quite low compared to some of
our neighbouring EU countries, some recycling over 50% of their waste (source: www.defra.gov.uk)
Can you imagine the effects if we all tried that little bit harder? Click the links
below to find out more.
The Ribena Team is committed to trying to make a difference to protect and safeguard
our environment. Having developed the industry's first 100% recycled plastic bottle,
we don't want to just stop there.
What else have we been doing?
We are working closely with WRAP and the recyclers to improve the quality of the
It's not just the bottle we look at when it comes to recycling. We also consider
the label (or shrink sleeve) and the cap on the ready to drink bottle to ensure
they separate easily from the bottle during recycling. Our bottle caps are also
recyclable, but the industry has a way to go before they can be made from purely
The Ribena & Tetra Pak partnership
The Ribena Team is committed to making all our packaging as green as possible. That's
why we've joined forces with Tetra Pak who provide us with more environmentally
responsible packaging. Currently our cartons supplied by Tetra Pak are sourced from
Forestry Stewardship Certified sources (FSC). They are widely recyclable and, when
recycled, are used to create a whole range of other paper products. There are more
and more places where you can recycle them now - see www.tetrapakrecycling.com for
Considering the environment...
Our Ribena growers
We are really proud of the unique British supply chain for Ribena squash. The Ribena
Team has a unique relationship with its blackcurrant growers, which on some British
farms spans 60 years and three generations.
The long-standing relationship is mutually beneficial with growers receiving long-term
contracts and help with the technical aspects of growing. Meanwhile, the Ribena
product receives the best blackcurrants available from growers that it knows and
The Ribena Team and its growers invest in initiatives that involve breeding the
best quality blackcurrants and growing the fruit in ways that are environmentally
responsible. For example, each farm has a wildlife conservation plan created in
association with The Wildlife Trusts, designed to encourage and nurture the farm's
Each Ribena blackcurrant bush takes around three years to grow before fruit can
be harvested from it and continues to provide fruit for around another 12 years.
When the blackcurrants have been picked, most of them are made into juice within
Scottish Crop Research Institute partnership
To help safeguard the quality of its British blackcurrants and farms, the Ribena
Team has been working in partnership with the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI)
for 15 years. Together we have created an action plan to ensure the continued production
of high quality blackcurrants, as well as protecting the flavour of our British
The effect of climate change - more extreme and variable weather - is having a major
impact on the British farming industry. Fruit farmers in particular will need to
use more resilient and adaptable varieties of crops with plenty of disease resistance
in order to ensure their livelihood.
Take blackcurrant growers for example: blackcurrant yields are falling due to milder
winters. Despite the fact that blackcurrants have been grown in the UK since the
1800s, in some areas of the country such as Kent and Somerset, two varieties of
blackcurrants - Baldwin and Ben Lomond - could disappear in the future.
The Scottish Crop Research Institute's Blackcurrant Breeding Programme in partnership
with the makers of Ribena develops new varieties of blackcurrants for commercial
cultivation. The programme is based on recurrent selection and backcrossing from
seedling populations at SCRI, with initial selections in the first (non-fruiting)
year based on vegetative characters, followed by selection on fruiting characters
and longer term agronomic traits. Trialling of the most promising seedlings is carried
out at sites where commercial large-scale fruit assessments can be made.
Recommendations for release are made after three years' trialling. The aim is to
produce a range of cultivars with superior fruit quality, pest and disease resistance
and environmental adaptability in a changing climate.
Two new varieties of blackcurrant have been specially bred to withstand the effects
of climate change. These are called Ben Vane and Ben Klibreck, and were harvested
for the first time in 2007 to mark the 70th birthday harvest of blackcurrants for
Ribena. The breeding is done using standard crop husbandry techniques and does not
involve any genetic modification or GM technology.
Named after Scottish mountains, Ben Vane and Ben Klibreck are a unique offering
to growers who produce blackcurrants for the Ribena drink, and have been released
after a successful three-year trial.
For a number of years, the blackcurrant growers have worked together with The Wildlife
Trusts - one of the largest conservation charities in the UK - to promote wildlife
friendly farming across the blackcurrant farms.
The first stage of this partnership created individual farm plans for each of the
blackcurrant growers. These conservation plans and were produced to give a more
targeted approach to particular habitats that are found on each farm.
Each farm has its own individual wildlife conservation plan, which includes:
- When and how best to trim hedges
- Erecting bird boxes and bat boxes
- Creating rough grass margins around fields and ponds
- Sowing wild bird-seed mixtures
- Establishing new hedgerows and replacing windbreaks with native shrubs
Species that are known to be present on farms and benefiting from the action plans
are the common toad, woodcock, otter, brown hare, yellowhammer, bats and bumblebees,
amongst many others.
The success of these plans is measured and evaluated, and so far there have been
some excellent results which have made a real difference to the variety and amount
of wildlife on Ribena's growers' farms.
The blackcurrant growers for Ribena squash manage an estimated 100 miles of hedgerows
in a more wildlife-friendly manner. The Ribena Team also estimates that over 75
hectares of field margins and headland have been enhanced for local habitat, as
a result of their partnership with The Wildlife Trusts. As part of his conservation
plan, one of the blackcurrant growers from Herefordshire has also restored a pond
on his farm. He's seen frogs return to the pond, and has even witnessed a large
number of tadpoles marching across plantations! To ensure the frogs stay safe, he's
set up diversion routes for his tractors.
For more information about our work with The Wildlife Trusts, visit
You can make a difference UK households produce about 30 million tonnes of waste
(figures from 2008/9), of which only 27% is collected for recycling. This figure
is still quite low compared to some of our neighbouring EU countries, some recycling
over 50% of their waste (source: www.defra.gov.uk). Can you imagine the effects
if we all tried that little bit harder?
How to do your bit
- To choose products that have environmental benefits, read the label
- If your home recycling bin doesn't take plastic bottles, you can deposit them at
your local recycling bank
- Remove the plastic sleeve on 500ml bottles before recycling
Want to do a bit more?
If you don't want to stop there, you can:
- Get involved with recycling initiatives in and around your local area
- Contact your local council if they're not going far enough to provide recycling
bins or sites
- Lobby the Government by writing to your local MP
Did you know...
- 35% of people believe that it is worth paying extra for products that are ethically
produced or kinder to the environment (source: fair-trade Foundation / Mintel 2006)
- kinder to the environment (source: fair-trade Foundation / Mintel 2006)
- Packaging waste is the 2nd highest concern for GB consumers (source: Nielsen Homescan
survey February 2007 - Great Britain)
- Packaging waste recycling has increased from 27% in 1998 to 56% in 2006 (source:
DEFRA Waste Strategy for England 2007)
If you're keen on environmental issues, or just want to make some positive changes
to decrease your impact on the environment, here area few places you can start:
Find out more about climate change and calculate your carbon footprint:
Expertise and guidance across the plastics supply, use and disposal chain:
A wealth of information on how to protect the environment:
Find your nearest recycling site and info on recycling:
Learn about conserving the UK's habitats and species, in the countryside, in cities
or at sea, with our friends at The Wildlife Trusts:
Recycle more is the one-stop recycling information centre that gives you help and
advice on all aspects of recycling: www.recycle-more.co.uk
A comprehensive site with detailed information on how to recycle different materials:
Community Recycling Network UK
Join the Community Recycling Network UK organisation and discover practical and
effective ways of tackling the UK's growing waste problem: