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Boris Johnson must help Londoners to recycle 'on the go'

The Mayor of London must introduce a consistent on the go recycling scheme to help people tackle waste and increase recycling in the city, according to the London Assembly.

The On the go recycling report produced by the London Assemblys Environment Committee says more recycling bins should be made available in public places because the public appetite for recycling is increasing.

The Committee calls on the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to ensure plastic material can easily be recycled but acknowledges that London needs to take steps to manage its own waste in London and to open a mixed plastic recycling facility.

London Assembly Environment Committee deputy chair Darren Johnson said: While Londoners facilities for recycling at home have improved greatly over recent years, it can be a real headache finding decent recycling facilities when youre out and about whether on the tube, out shopping or at a football match. The Mayor must take a lead in changing this.

The environmental cost of disposable plastic food and drink containers is higher than ever. The capital recycles or composts just 22 per cent of its municipal waste, and cannot continue to cope with the amount of rubbish going to landfill.

Other proposals from the report include:
* There should be enough bins on the streets, in parks and shopping centres;
* The Mayor needs to ensure infrastructure is in place for the London Olympics in 2012;
* And a pan-London advertising campaign is needed, to develop consumer awareness as to what materials can be collected on the go.

Environmental charity Waste Watch provided the Committee with information that said that the public are increasingly aware of recycling on the go through recycling facilities at museums, events and festivals.

Johnson said: The Mayor must take action to ensure London is at the forefront of the recycling industry. Almost one million people commute into central London on an average working day by public transport and recycling should not end at home.

A spokeswoman for the Mayor said: The Mayor agrees that street recycling is extremely important and wants to see more opportunities for Londoners to recycle their rubbish on the go. The Mayor doesn't have authority to install new recycling bins across London, as this is a borough responsibility, but is working closely with the boroughs to make it easier for Londoners to recycle.

The Assembly report is a useful document and will help to inform the Mayors draft waste strategy, to be published this summer, which will include proposals for working with the boroughs on more street level recycling facilities.

Image: London Assembly Environment Committee deputy chair Darren Johnson with plastic bags

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