Sara Lewis tackles waste in Caerphilly

The first in a series of articles profiling individuals who are inspiring their local communities to reduce waste in Wales

Sara Lewis, a volunteer with Terracycle, has raised over £15,000 for local groups and schools in Caerphilly. Sara, who is a mum of six, talks to us about her passion for recycling.

 

“I found out about Terracycle eight years ago and I thought, 'Wow! What a great way of recycling things like baby food pouches and used pens'! My parents brought me up to make the most out of things, and I try to encourage this in my own kids.

“My kids and some of my friends think I’m a bit mad doing what I do but it’s rewarding to know that the items I encourage others to recycle have been given a second life instead of going to landfill.

“Collecting for Terracycle is a great way of raising money for groups, school and charities. To date, I’ve collected over £15,000 and sent over 1,000,000 items to be recycled.

“I started collecting recycling at my kid’s school and now I collect for over 14 groups, including schools, guide and scout groups. The only cost is brown tape and my own time.

"Terracycle runs recycling competitions which really spur me on! One of my groups, Ysgol y Castell, has just come 4th in the UK for recycling biscuit wrappers – we have won the competition twice before!

“Since the Blue Planet 2 documentary in 2017, I’ve seen a steady increase in the amount of recycling dropped off at my recycling points around Caerphilly. Last December, Walkers Crisps announced it would partner with Terracycle UK to offer free crisp recycling. Now lots more people are recycling their crisps and biscuit wrappers.

“It used to take me around five hours a week collecting and sorting the items. Now it takes at least 10 hours a week and usually more.

"I post a lot on my recycling page ‘Ailgylchy/recycling in Caerphilly’ and on other groups and pages across social media, either encouraging people to recycle more and informing them of all the different options or sharing relevant articles so that others can benefit.

“Over the years, I’ve gained knowledge on what can be recycled and made a large number of friends locally and from other parts of the UK. I have also met up with recyclers in different parts of the country.

“Collecting with Terracycle has been a great way of meeting people as well as helping the planet!”

 

Do you know anyone who is inspiring others to recycle and tackle our waste? Nominate your waste hero

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