A rainbow of hope during the COP26 summit

A rainbow of hope during the COP26 summit

A rainbow of hope during the COP26 summit 2560 1852 adminEirini

The #EveryCanCounts rainbow was presented in Glasgow for COP26 to remind people about the importance of recycling empty drink cans.

The now iconic symbol of Every Can Counts, the rainbow archway, was prominently displayed in Shawlands Civic Square in partnership with Glasgow City Council. Its goal? To raise awareness about the importance of recycling and inspire even more people to place their empties in the right bin.

The eye-catching installation, placed in front of Langside Halls, consists of more than 2,500 brightly coloured recycled drink cans and measures four metres high and seven metres wide. It took four people more than five hours to construct and remained in place until early November, spreading the recycling message over the first week of the climate change conference.

Every Can Counts’ own research suggests that more than 2.8 million drink cans are bought and used each week throughout Glasgow. Aluminium is infinitely recyclable and recycling just one can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours. If all of these cans were recycled, it would give greenhouse gas savings equivalent to taking more than 7,200 cars off the city’s roads for a week.

Eight in 10 of those questioned say they always use recycling bins if they are available in public places, with more than seven in 10 claiming that they would recycle more while out and about if there were a greater number of recycling bins.

In fact, almost two thirds of Glaswegians say they have become more concerned about the environment and their impact on it over the last 12 months. Half believe this is due to Glasgow’s involvement in the conference.

“The rainbow is our way of reminding people about the importance of recycling cans at a time when the environment is firmly on the city’s agenda. Recycling an empty drink can is such an easy thing that each of us can do to help the planet. It might not seem like much, but every can is endlessly recyclable and making a can from recycled metal rather than raw materials uses 95% less energy and produces 95% less greenhouse gas emissions. In 2020, a record four out of five drink cans sold in the UK were recycled, given peoples’ lifestyles changed dramatically and we spent much of the year in lockdown. We want to continue making progress now the country has opened back up and our ultimate goal is to achieve a 100% recycling rate for drink cans”, Chris Latham-Warde, Programme Manager for Every Can Counts, said.

A rainbow to unite us all under one cause

This symbol, aiming to inspire more action towards aluminium can recycling, was embraced by citizens and politicians alike. “This installation was a reminder of the importance of recycling, and the significant environmental benefits it brings. We can all play our part in reducing emissions by recycling as much as we can”, councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction at Glasgow City Council said.

I was thrilled to see the Every Can Counts rainbow in my constituency. It acted as a key reminder of the importance of recycling more and keeping our streets tidy over the course of the landmark COP26 Summit and beyond. Shifting towards infinitely recyclable materials like aluminium and keeping these materials in circulation by recycling is something we can all do to progress towards a truly circular economy, and to meet the aims of this pivotal Summit in Glasgow”, said Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central.

An ideal backdrop for selfies and quite a spectacle for photos, the rainbow managed to get tens of people to capture it with their cameras. At the same time, visitors had the chance to win a £100 shopping voucher and a £500 donation to an environmental charity of their choice. The winner selected South Seeds, a community organisation based in South Central Glasgow that works to enable local residents to lead more sustainable lives.

But that’s not all. The #EveryCanCounts rainbow installation was also featured prominently by leading newspapers and media, such as The Times, Glasgow Times, and Glasgow World.