earth day

What is Earth Day & Why We’ve Brought a Giant Rainbow to Leeds

What is Earth Day & Why We’ve Brought a Giant Rainbow to Leeds 2560 1712 Phoebe Kelly

Our giant rainbow installation has been unveiled outside of Leeds Station to commemorate Earth Day 2024!

The four-by-seven metre structure is made from more than 2,500 recycled cans and has been created to raise awareness about the importance of recycling.

The #EveryCanCounts Rainbow was revealed on Friday 19th April and will be on display outside the station by City Square until Monday night which ties into this year’s Earth Day.

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an annual event which falls on the 22nd April each year and focuses on diversifying, educating, and activating the environmental movement worldwide.

Why Do We Celebrate Earth Day?

Working with over 150,000 partners in over 192 countries – including ourselves – Earth Day hopes to inspire individuals to yield their power and influence as consumers by making more sustainable choices.

Last year, over 9 billion drink cans were recycled in the UK—the equivalent of covering Elland Road’s football pitch with drink cans almost a million times over. Moreover, recycling one tonne of aluminium saves nine tonnes of CO2 emissions, meaning that in 2023, the carbon savings generated by recycling drink cans equated to taking over 246,500 cars off the road.

Why Are We Celebrating Earth Day in Leeds?

According to our new research, Leeds residents drink an average of five cans a week, of which people say they recycle around 74%.

Even though half (54%) say they are more aware of environmental issues than they were 12 months ago, 41% admit that they put recyclable items in refuse bins if recycling facilities aren’t available.

Furthermore, the biggest barrier locals face whilst recycling is the lack of recycling bins in public places (68%), followed by the desire for more recyclable packaging (45%) and clearer signage on recycling bins (40%).

Half (54%) also agree that more needs to be done to educate young people about the importance of recycling.

So… What Can You Do to Help?

In Leeds, eye-catching yellow recycling-on-the-go bins for drinking cans can be found across the city centre and in town centres including Chapel Allerton, Headingley, Garforth, Morley, Otley and Wetherby. This makes it easier than ever for all residents to recycle all they can when out and about as well as at home in their green bins, helping Leeds’ ambition to ultimately become a carbon-neutral city by 2030.

In 2023/24, 398 tonnes of aluminium were collected from the green and recycling-on-the-go high street bins, the equivalent of over 28 million drink cans. If every Leeds household put two more drink cans in their green bin every collection, there would be another 19 million cans recycled in Leeds each year.

Last month also saw 10,000 more Leeds households move on to fortnightly collections, aimed at supporting and encouraging increased recycling. A further 20,000 more are due to move on to weekly collections from early summer.

We want our Rainbow installation to act as a reminder that your small actions CAN make a big impact on our planet. By recycling just one aluminium drink you could save enough energy to power your laptop for 4 hours. So this #EarthDay we want you to remember that although your drink can might be small, your actions really add up to paint a bigger picture… much like the 2,500 drink cans which make up our colourful archway!

How You Can Get Involved in Earth Day 2024!

Alongside the new installation, we are also giving away a £150 Trinity Leeds Gift Card to one lucky winner. To enter the competition, entrants must post a photo of the rainbow in Leeds on Instagram, Facebook, or X before midnight on Thursday 25th April, using the #EveryCanCounts hashtag and tagging our social media channels.

The full competition T&Cs can be found here.

What We Had to Say…

Chris Latham-Warde, Programme Manager for Every Can Counts, said: “We’re delighted to see our rainbow installation make its Leeds debut to mark Earth Day this year and look forward to seeing the photography locals capture as part of our competition!

“As well as brightening up the city centre, we hope our installation reminds people about the benefits of recycling their drink cans and makes them feel empowered to make sustainable choices.

“Aluminium can be recycled time and time again, and making cans from recycled metal uses 95% less energy than making them from raw materials. The people of Leeds can play their part in this process by ensuring their empty cans end up in the right bin, allowing this valuable material to remain in circulation.”  

Councillor Paul Wray, Leeds City Council deputy executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space at Leeds City Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see this striking rainbow arch in Leeds to celebrate Earth Day, hopefully it will get people talking about what more they can recycle to look after the planet.

“If we can all pledge to recycle our drink cans when we’re out and about, or at home in the green recycling bin, then these small changes can make a huge difference for the city and the planet.”

Introducing the #EveryCanCounts CANvas

Introducing the #EveryCanCounts CANvas 2227 2395 Phoebe Kelly

Visit Covent Garden for Earth Day 2023 and see our brand new installation highlighting the importance of recycling drink cans!

What is the #EveryCanCounts CANvas?

In celebration of Earth Day on Saturday 22nd April, Covent Garden, the sustainable neighbourhood of the West End, is partnering with us for a second time to create ‘The #EveryCanCounts CANvas’.

Made up of over 700 drink cans, the ‘CANvas’ has been brought to life by renowned street artist, Jimmy C, with a bespoke Earth Day design to raise awareness of the infinite recyclability of aluminum and encourage people to recycle their drink cans wherever they are – as when recycled, each and every empty can could be back on sale as a brand-new can in just 60 days.

The installation is located on Covent Garden’s North Piazza and will remain on display until Tuesday 25th April, when Jimmy C will be returning to paint a new ‘CANvas’ ahead of the Coronation weekend – so watch this space!

Chris Latham-Warde, programme manager for Every Can Counts, said: “We’re so excited to partner with Covent Garden again and celebrate Earth Day with the reveal of our brand-new ‘CANvas’ installation.

“Earth Day is all about encouraging worldwide action to help benefit the environment and to preserve the planet, and recycling empty drink cans is something we can all easily do.

“Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, and every empty can could be recycled and back on a shop shelf as a brand-new can in just 60 days. Every can recycled also reduces the carbon footprint of the next can made, so small actions like recycling really do add up to help make a big difference.”

Enter Our Photo Prize Draw!

Make sure you visit Covent Garden for Earth Day 2023 as we will also be holding a photo prize draw with the #EveryCanCounts CANvas! Passers-by have until 30th May to snap a picture with the CANvas installation and enter a social media photo competition for the chance to win a £100 One4All gift card. To enter, take a photo of the CANvas and upload it to social media using #EveryCanCounts and tagging @EveryCanCountsUK (Instagram/Facebook) or @EveryCanCounts (Twitter). Prize draw terms and conditions can be viewed here.

A Canny Earth Day 2022 In Newcastle

A Canny Earth Day 2022 In Newcastle 2560 1625 ChrisUK

Grey’s Monument has been made more colourful for Earth Day 2022 with the arrival of the Every Can Counts rainbow installation in Newcastle city centre.

About the #EveryCanCounts Rainbow

The impressive rainbow arch, measuring four metres high and seven metres wide, is made up from over 2,500 recycled drink cans.

It was installed by Every Can Counts in collaboration with Newcastle City Council to bring awareness to the importance of can recycling around Earth Day 2022 (Friday 22nd April).

Recycling in Newcastle

According to Every Can Counts’ research, Geordies drink an average of six cans a week, of which people say they recycle around 70% of empty cans.

Even though nine in 10 Geordies surveyed say that they understand the benefits of recycling, more than a quarter (27 per cent) admit that they don’t recycle while out of the house.

Furthermore, 68% of people in Newcastle say they are more concerned about the environment and their impact on it than they were this time last year.

Residents suggest that more recyclable packaging and monetary incentives such as the planned deposit return scheme would encourage them to recycle more.

Every Can Counts & Earth Day 2022 Prize Draw

The rainbow will remain on display by Grey’s Monument until Sunday evening. People are invited to post a photo of the installation on social media for the chance to win £100 in shopping vouchers. Click here to find out more about our incredible prize draw!

What We Had to Say about the Rainbow’s Visit to Newcastle

Chris Latham-Warde, Programme Manager for Every Can Counts, said: “Our rainbow installation has toured all over the UK and we’re so excited that it’s finally making its debut in Newcastle for Earth Day. This year, the theme is ‘Invest in our Planet’, and that message has never been so important.

“Each and every one of us can make a difference and recycling our empty drink cans is an example of a small habit we can all adopt that has a positive impact on the environment. All of the cans collected in Newcastle over the weekend could be recycled and refilled on shop shelves in just 60 days – and because every can is infinitely recyclable, the benefits of keeping that valuable aluminium in circulation keep adding up again and again!

“Recycling rates were at an all-time high during the national lockdowns and, now that restrictions have been lifted, it’s essential that we keep up the momentum. We hope our colourful rainbow pop-up this weekend will inspire the people of Newcastle to do just that!”

Christine Herriot, Newcastle City Council’s director of operations and regulatory services, added: “It’s fantastic to have this eye-catching rainbow art installation in the heart of our city this weekend, which will certainly get people talking and help spread the message about the importance of recycling.

“We know residents take great pride in having a clean and tidy city, which was demonstrated by the incredible turn out for the Great British Spring Clean.

“We thank all of the volunteers, businesses and community groups who played their part in helping us to tidy up their communities and it shows what we can achieve for our environment when we work together.

“It’s important everyone continues to take responsibility and dispose of their empty packaging properly. If there is not a public bin nearby, or you arrive at a bin that is already full, please take your litter home and recycle it there instead.

“We hope everyone enjoys having their pictures taken with this brilliant piece of artwork this weekend and remembers the important message behind it.”

The Every Can Counts Rainbow in Newcastle for Earth Day 2022

Click here to find out more about Earth Day 2022.