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Recyclabots: Encouraging the next generation to play their role in a more sustainable future

Are you a parent, teacher or community leader passionate about nurturing the next generation of recyclers and protecting the environment long term?

EMR has released the brand new Recyclabots e-learning platform, designed to educate children in Key Stage 2 (7 to 11-years-olds) about the different properties of metals, how they are recycled and how responsibly disposing of metals and electronics can contribute to a cleaner, greener future.

“As a global leader in sustainable materials, EMR takes its role in promoting the sustainable recycling of metals both at home, at school and in thousands of businesses around the globe, extremely seriously,” says Ian Sheppard, Managing Director at EMR. “Recyclabots is a fun, educational way to ensure this work continues in the decades ahead, empowering young people with the knowledge and skills they need to be the recyclers of tomorrow.”

Recyclabots is a partnership between EMR and electrical retailer Currys. Launched in 2019, EMR and Currys have now relaunched the programme as a popular e-learning platform that can be delivered at home.

A cast of animated robots from the planet Metallum represent the main recycled metals. Characters include: Sycle (Aluminium), Electro (Copper), Magnus (Iron), Oretis (Nickel) and Poly (Plastic).

In addition to providing some key facts about the most widely used metals, the Recyclabots characters emphasise that most metals can be recycled many times over, further underlining the sustainability benefits of metal recycling.

The e-learning platform has been developed by animators that have worked for the likes of Disney and has been tried and tested by teachers. It can be used in schools as well as in Scout groups, Guides, Brownies and at home.

The updated Recyclabots resources include lesson plans, worksheets and stickers as well as an interactive video which includes a wealth of facts about recycling and protecting the environment. These include:

  • In the United Kingdom, a car is recycled every twelve seconds.
  • Every year, 155,000 tonnes of electrical equipment is thrown into the bin – even though it can be recycled. This is roughly the same weight as 95,000 cars or 25,000 African elephants.

“While most people know that paper, glass and many plastics can be recycled, they are a lot less certain about how metals and electronic products can be sustainably recycled,” says Ian. “Recyclabots is about giving young people that knowledge early so that they can help encourage parents and schools to be better recyclers and – even more importantly – to be ready for the sustainable, circular economy that the UK must quickly transition to.”

For those interested in delivering the Recyclabots programme in their school, youth group or at home, EMR has launched a dedicated webpage which provides information about downloading the interactive video and how to access the accompanying learning resources.

“EMR has a goal of becoming a fully net zero business by 2040 but that mission doesn’t stop at the gates of our state-of-the-art facilities. To really play our part in increasing recycling rates and decarbonising our industry we must work closely with the communities in which we operate,” says Ian. “Recyclabots is just the latest chapter in this journey and I’m excited to track the impact it will have.”

Alupro launches campaign to educate primary pupils about recycling

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, has announced the launch of its 2020 primary education programme. From Monday 28September, schools across the UK and Ireland will be recruited to participate in the initiative, which aims to bring recycling into the classroom through science, art, design and PHSE.

The anime-inspired Key Stage 2 (KS2) campaign will see schoolchildren introduced to heroine Ally Minium and asked to join her quest to defeat evil villain Land Phil, who is threatening to take over the planet. Comprising an introductory video, an interactive lesson about recycling and a series of quests for pupils to complete, the creative programme will task pupils with becoming ‘masters of infinity’.  

After completing all the quests, using a series of custom-designed character cards, pupils will complete a pledge to recycle their waste and help others to do the same. The aim of the initiative is to generate awareness of the benefits of recycling all household packaging, including aluminium, as well as drive a long-term shift in recycling behaviour among young people and their families.

Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro, commented: “Inspiring the next generation and educating students about the properties of aluminium and the role it plays within the circular economy will help contribute to ever-increasing recycling rates. At Alupro, we love working with pupils to build awareness of sustainability and support teachers as they work with their class to promote the benefits of recycling. Our resources have been designed to be hugely flexible and, as such, can even be used by students for home schooling!”

As part of the campaign, students will be invited to enter a competition (which runs between 28 September and 14 December) to complete an anime-based comic strip, for the chance to win an iPad to take home and a £1500 voucher for their school. Rick added: “We’re really looking forward to seeing the entries and the exciting adventures they design. I’d like to offer the best of luck to everyone who takes part!”

ALFED, the aluminium federation, will be part funding the programme. For more information, or to download the resources, visit: https://learningaluminium.co.uk/. For more information about Alupro, visit: www.alupro.org.uk.