New recycling exhibit opens at W5 Belfast
A new immersive exhibit about recycling has opened at W5 Belfast, an award-winning Science & Discovery Centre, to coincide with this year’s Recycle Week, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
The ‘Infinity Room’ installation, created by recycling not-for-profit Every Can Counts, aims to teach all ages about the importance of recycling drink cans, as well as illustrating the infinite recyclability of aluminium.
The focal point for the exhibition is a giant drink can and those who step inside will find themselves in a mirrored room that creates an illusion of being surrounded by an infinite number of suspended aluminium cans. At the same time, a narrator will take them on an educational journey through aluminium can recycling and its environmental benefits.
The exhibit not only marks a new experience for visitors to W5 Belfast, but also the 20th anniversary of Recycle Week. Recycle Week is an annual celebration of recycling which aims to galvanise the public across the UK to recycle more of the right things, more often.
Made up of 1,500 recycled cans and 25 square metres of mirrors, the exhibit also makes for a visual spectacle and visitors can share their own photos and videos of the Infinity Room on social media with #EveryCanCounts.
New research from Every Can Counts into the recycling habits of those in Belfast also found on average, people enjoy around seven canned drinks per week.
Out of these seven cans, 78% are recycled on average, and just under half (48%) of those living in Belfast always use recycling bins when out and about in public places, while only a third (31%) would take packaging home to recycle it if they couldn’t find a recycle bin.
Belfast residents cited more recycling bins (73%), clearer signage on recycling bins (34%), and more recyclable packaging (34%) as the top three things which would encourage them to recycle more when out of their home.
Furthermore, almost half (44%) think more should be done to educate young people about the importance of recycling.
Victoria Denoon, Head of W5 Experience, said: “W5 is proud to work alongside Every Can Counts to showcase the Infinity Room Tour during Recycle Week 2023.
“The exhibit will be housed in our In Our Nature Zone which highlights the importance of sustainability, climate change and our local environment and is aligned to W5’s mission of provoking new learning opportunities in immersive environments where visitors of all ages and backgrounds can become fully absorbed and engaged.
“Like Every Can Counts, we are fully committed to inspiring the next generation to recycle and providing opportunities for them to learn about the science involved.”
Chris Latham-Warde, Programme Manager at Every Can Counts, added: “Our one-of-a-kind Infinity Room installation has been a great success on its tour of the UK so far, and we’re thrilled for it to be making its Belfast debut.
“The aim of the exhibit is to raise awareness of the infinite recyclability of drink cans in a visual and interactive way. Every empty can could be recycled and back on a shop shelf as a brand-new can in just 60 days and each of us can play a vital role in keeping the cycle going.
“We hope that visitors to W5 Belfast are left feeling inspired by our exhibit and make small changes to their recycling habits to help make a difference and benefit the environment.”
Every Can Counts is a unique partnership formed between drink can manufacturers, drink can fillers and the wider recycling industry, all with the goal of reaching a 100% recycling rate for drink cans.
The programme provides free recycling support to businesses and organisations around the UK. To find out more information about Every Can Counts, visit www.everycancounts.co.uk.
Visitors can explore The Infinity Room at W5 Belfast until early January 2024. Opening hours and more information can be found at https://w5online.co.uk/.