Behind the scenes: #RecycledBeats
If your mind was blown by the fascinating facts that we revealed in our #RecycledBeats campaign, find out about the all-important workings that our stats elves used to arrive at them.
Hello, my name is Shelley and I have been creating stats and messages for WRAP and it’s three consumer campaigns - Recycle for Wales (Recycle Now in England), Love Food Hate Waste and Love Your Clothes - for over three years.
I am a Research and Data Analyst and have worked for WRAP for over 8 years. Two more Analysts (Vicky and Andy), have just joined the stats team, and had fun in recently creating their first messages.
The recycling of items into energy is a complex subject to understand as there are so many factors. I base our calculations on Life Cycle Analyses of materials such as paper, plastic, glass, metals, etc. The Life Cycle Analyses compare the energy used to extract virgin materials and create a new product, against collecting and recycling an existing material into a new product. These analyses even include the energy used when transporting the collected recyclate.
To create a message, I need factors relating to the weight of recyclate material, the kilowatt-hour (kWh) of the product that it could power, then calculate these with data we have to produce a message. A good example with the #RecycleBeats message ‘Recycling 1 plastic shampoo bottle can save enough energy to power a spinning disco mirror ball for 30 hours’. The calculation for this is:
The amount of time a spinning
|=||kWh plastic shampoo bottle |
kWh spinning disco mirror ball per 1 hour
(kWh plastic shampoo bottle is calculated from a Life Cycle Analyses on recycling mixed plastic against extracting and using virgin materials.
kWh spinning disco mirror ball is calculated from Watts used to power a disco mirror ball.)
So as you can see, although the calculation is quite simple, the complexity lies in the recycling processes that happens behind the scenes and extracting this data to use in the calculation.