The Art of Recycling – How resourceful are you?

Art of Recycling

Packaging supplier Rajapack have commissioned a piece of artwork, and created a video documenting the work of cardboard artist and sculptor James Lake, along with a survey to raise questions on resourcefulness.

  • 94% of British adults say they care about the environment
  • Half of British residents admit they could recycle more
  • London regularly underperforms when compared to the rest of the country, with 1 in 6 residents admitting they don’t recycle most of their household waste
  • 18-24-year olds were the least likely of the age groups to agree that they recycle most of their household waste at 79%

The YouGov study of over 2,000 British adults shows that almost half of GB residents (47%) felt that they could recycle more of their household waste than they currently do, even though more than two-thirds of GB residents (74%) believe that their council makes it easy to do so.

When looking at recycling and resourcefulness by region, London regularly underperforms when compared to the rest of England – with 1 in 6 Londoners admitting they don’t recycle most of their household waste, despite, 70% of Londoners thinking their local council makes it “very easy” or “fairly easy” to recycle through household collections. For the residents surveyed in the North East who said they could recycle more (54%), 37% said it was because they don’t always have recycling bins/bags available.

It was those aged 18-24 that revealed they were the least likely of the age groups to agree that they recycle most of their household waste (79%). Following that, 77% of full time-students think they should recycle more than they currently do, compared to 19% who think they can’t recycle more. A further 40% of students cited they could recycle more say they don’t because they don’t always have recycling bins/bags. Another 39% cited they don’t recycle because they simply forget.

The Earth is currently using its resources 1.7  times faster than they can be regenerated. This means we would need 1.7 planets to meet its resource demand,[i] emphasising the need for us to recycle more and be resourceful. James Lake visually represents this in his commission designing a large sphere on an axis to represent the Earth. At any one time, half the Earth is enclosed in a larger half sphere of an urban/industrial landscape to represent the overconsumption of ecological resources.

Using the naturally biodegradable material in his work, James Lake states that cardboard has always been his material of choice despite it being a cheap material that most people would throw away: “Using a material that can be recycled is ideal, because if it needs to be recycled to become something else – it can be”.

In the feature video, James Lake states, “cardboard became really the only material I wanted to work with” despite it not being a luxury material, which prompts the public to be more resourceful when disposing of used materials, especially cardboard. Whether that’s recycling, making art, throwing it in the compost pile or lining garden beds to use as mulch for weed control – with climate change, being resourceful is a necessity.

Andrew Wood from Rajapack, who promote sustainability through environmentally-responsible packaging, states:

With climate change, and hence the need to preserve the environment, its more important than ever that we become as resourceful as possible. From recycling to repurposing materials, we have to make more of a conscious effort

[i] Earth Overshoot Day Org –

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