WELSH LANDMARKS GO BANANAS FOR FOOD RECYCLING
Giant bananas have been taking over Wales’ well known attractions, starting at Pontypridd RFC.
The banana takeover kicked off at Pontypridd RFC, and travelled throughout the country, taking in venues like Zip World Fforest Fach, Zip World Slate Caverns, Caernarfon Castle and Theatre Clwyd, in a bid to raise awareness about how food waste can be turned into energy.
Members of the public were invited to don a banana suit at each venue to share photos and even take part in a range of activities including- seven a side rugby, treetop trampolining, bouncing and exploring underground caverns, admiring Caernarfon’s oldest landmark or joining the Theatre Clwyd cast on stage – all while learning how households produce 7.3 million tonnes of food waste every year, including 240,000 tonnes of banana skins.
Pontypridd RFC, the first venue to partner with Recycle for Wales has revealed it takes just 40 recycled banana peels to power the floodlights for 10 minutes of match day at Pontypridd RFC. What’s more if every RCT resident recycled one banana peel it would power Pontypridd Stadium floodlights for 41 days!
Caernarfon Castle revealed that it takes 480 banana peels to be recycled to power the Castle for one hour. That’s 8 banana peels a minute!
Theatr Clwyd revealed if every Flintshire resident recycled one banana peel it would power the arts centre for a whole day,
...and if banana peels were to power Zip World, it would take just 180 to power the Ffestiniog site.
Around 210,000 tonnes of household food waste ends up in landfill from across Wales, waste which contributes to the creation of methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas. If the food was recycled instead, the methane could be harnessed and turned into energy to power communities.
Angela Spiteri, from Recycle for Wales, explained why bananas are taking over Wales’ popular attractions: "Even though half of households in Wales recycle their food waste, there’s still more we can do. When we ask people in Wales why they don't recycle their food waste, they tell us it's because they don't think they produce enough to bother.
"In fact - we all create a certain amount of food waste which can’t be eaten, no matter how conscientious we are. Unavoidable waste items, like tea bags, egg shells, potato peels and of course, banana skins aren’t edible but can all be recycled. This is why we decided to draw people's attention to these types of foods - to remind everyone, we can all recycle food waste and give it a new lease of life as energy."
How do bananas create energy?
When we recycle bananas, or any food in Wales, it is usually sent to an anaerobic digestion processing plant. Anaerobic digestion involves the natural breakdown of food into methane and carbon dioxide gas. These gases are then used to generate electricity to power homes and the local community.
For example - In 2016, the Bryn Pica plant in Aberdare, which is run by Biogen, produced enough electricity to power 2,249 homes. It also produces a fertiliser which can be used in agriculture across the country.
We know how many bananas it takes to power the attractions, but how much food waste does it take to power some of our day-to-day activities at home?
- For every eight banana peels or six tea bags we recycle at home, enough energy can be produced to boil a kettle and make a cup of tea.
- Just one caddy of food waste generates enough electricity to watch a football match on TV.
- Recycling three banana peels generates enough energy to power a hairdryer for one minute
What unavoidable waste can I recycle?
- Tea bags and coffee grounds
- Fruit and veg peelings and cores
- Fish and meat bones
- Egg shells
If you have other types of food waste, such as plate scraps, or food which is past its use by date, these can also be recycled.
Food recycling is available to almost every household in Wales. Find out more about how to recycle in Wales and your local service by visiting our food recycling page.