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Pay for parking with plastic bags

Parking operator, CitiPark celebrates the return of their ‘Pay for Parking with Plastic’ recycling scheme. Last year, CitiPark recycled hundreds of single-use plastic bottles after launching a campaign to incentivise customers to return their unwanted bottles to their flagship car park in Leeds.

Over the span of a month, the recycling scheme saw customers receive 20p off their parking for every 500ml plastic bottle brought to CitiPark’s Merrion Centre car park in Leeds. The scheme will be reintroduced for the month of October, however this year they are asking for plastic bags, with every bag equating to 5p against the price of parking at Merrion Centre and Leeds Dock car parks.

It is estimated that between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. With each bag having taking hundreds of years to biodegrade. Shockingly, fewer than 3% are recycled, with the majority dumped in our oceans and landfill. 

However, there is hope! The amount of single-use plastic bags given out each year by retail giants decreased from 140 to 25 bags per person on average following the introduction of the 5p charge in 2015.  Since then, many UK supermarkets have discontinued such bags and replaced them with tougher, longer-lasting ‘bags for life’. “Incentives such as our recycling scheme enable us to shed light on the scale of the issue and draw attention to the single-use plastic products contributing most to the problem, such as bags and bottles.”  Says Charlotte-Daisy Leeming, Head of Corporate Social Responsibilities at CitiPark. 

All bags will be donated to local schools for a project in which pupils are encouraged to find organisations to collaborate with to provide long-term, practical recycling solutions for single-use plastic products. Additionally, CitiPark will take part in ‘Merrion Centre Goes Green’ at the Merrion Centre in Leeds from Monday 7 to Friday 11 October. This week-long series of activities will focus on sustainability, health and well-being, recycling and protecting the environment, and will involve a range of Merrion Centre retailers, charities and other external organisations. Ben Ziff, Managing Director at CitiPark said: “At CitiPark, we are committed to going green.”

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