Earth Day 2024

What is Earth Day? 

Earth Day is an annual event promoting awareness and action for environmental protection. First held in 1970 in the wake of a 11 million litre oil spill in

California, it has since developed into an international call to action, with organised events in 141 countries. In fact, Earth Day 2020 was marked by over 100 million people! 

What was this Earth Day All About? 

The theme of Earth Day 2024 was Planet vs Plastics, a call to action to phase out plastic use and make people aware of the environmental impacts of continued plastic manufacturing. 

Planet vs Plastics is part of a larger initiative, “60X40”, that aims to reduce plastic production by 60% by 2040. They aim to do this by educating the public on the dangers to human and animal life posed by plastic pollution, demanding policy change in areas such as fast fashion and single-use plastics, and investing in technologies that we can use to replace plastic, including Bioplastics. 

To promote this, Techbuyer ran an initiative encouraging staff to bring in their used clothes and belongings to donate these items for second-life. We also made a drop off point for reuseable materials: including everything from clothes to glasses, bottles and stamps! 

Why Plastics? 

Where to start? According to the UN Environment Programme: the equivalent of two thousand trucks full of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans, rivers and lakes every day! This amounts to between nineteen and twenty three million tonnes of plastic waste leaking into lakes, rivers and seas on the daily. 

Plastics are everywhere - in tires, cosmetics and even in our clothes: most new, man-made fabrics – such as polyester – are made of plastic. Due to how slowly they degrade, they often break down into smaller particulate (micro and nanoplastics) which then infiltrates ecosystems and the organisms within them. In fact, microplastics have been found in human blood and lung tissue - posing potential health risks we do not yet fully understand.  

Where Did it All Go?  

Our collections went to one of two places: 

The Cone Exchange – a community project of Bettys and Taylors group (yes, the fat rascal people) with the aim of repurposing waste materials from businesses and donations for use in arts and crafts. The name “Cone Exchange” originates from a young visitor to the Taylors facility taking a cardboard cone destined for recycling to make it into a Christmas angel decoration. We have worked with the Cone Exchange for a number of years to give a second life to packaging waste such as packing peanuts and wrap. 

Find out more about them here. 

Yorkshire Cancer Research – Another Techbuyer Charity Partnership (we recently did a baking competition judged by YCR staff and members of our team are running the Great North Run for the organisation) - YCR conduct research and provide support for people diagnosed with Cancer throughout the Yorkshire Region. They have recently opened up a facility a short distance from our HQ in Hornbeam Park, complete with a gym, nutritionists to aid patient recovery, and a cracking café and shop too! 

More information about YCR can be found here. 

How Well Did We Do? 

Techbuyer staff really pulled together bringing in books, clothes and games for YCR and plastic tubs and cardboard tubes for the cone exchange. In C1 the volume of donations even exceeded our collection box! 

And the total (drumroll please) … 

19 bags full of donations across our sites totalled over 200 kilos! 

A huge thank you to everyone who donated.