Rainbow arch made from 2,000 drink cans pops up overnight on the seafront

A giant rainbow arch made of recycled cans has been built on the seafront as a tribute to key workers and to highlight the benefits of recycling valuable aluminium drink cans rather than leaving them as litter. 

The arch has been constructed by recycling initiative ‘Every Can Counts’ and will remain in place between the Upside Down House and i360 until 14 September. 

Made up of 2,000 cast aside aluminium drinks cans captured for recycling, the colourful structure stands four metres into the air and seven metres wide. Get along to see it if you can!

Recycling ambassadors from Every Can Counts will be roaming along the beach over the next two weekends talking to seafront visitors about the benefits of recycling.

Councillor Sue Shanks, joint deputy leader of the council, and Rick Hindley, Director of Every Can Counts, in front of the recycled can rainbow arch.

Councillor Sue Shanks, joint deputy leader of the council, and Rick Hindley, Director of Every Can Counts.

Love our city – recycle!

As lockdown restrictions eased earlier this year, littering in summer hotspots across the UK hit an all-time high. 

Brighton & Hove saw some of the largest littering figures with 11 tonnes of rubbish collected from the beach in just one single day. That's 2,000 bin liners full and an increase of 267% compared to the same period last year.

With climate change and protecting our environment back in the forefront of everyone’s minds, the figures are a stark reminder of how anti-social behaviour can plague much-loved beauty spots across the UK. 

Every Can Counts

Every Can Counts is a Europe-wide recycling initiative, funded through a partnership between drink can manufacturers, the aluminium recycling industry and drink brands.

The initiative recently celebrated a new milestone in the UK for cans being collected for recycling, with the rate reaching a record high of 76%. The vision, however, is to reach 100%.

The rainbow structure stands as a symbol for the good that comes from doing the right thing with empty cans and recycling them to allow them to live again. 

With no limit on how many times aluminium cans can be recycled, it’s a terrible waste of a valuable resources to throw them away.

Please use our recycling bins 

Councillor Amy Heley, joint chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, said: 

“Our city’s beautiful open spaces have been a much-needed respite for many residents during the lockdown, especially the beach. 

“The downside has been the staggering amount of litter that has been generated. It’s taken a lot of hard work from our teams to keep our beach and parks clean. 

“There are plenty of litter and recycling bins in the city, so there’s no excuse for leaving a mess. 

“We hope the rainbow helps to remind everyone how important it is to look after our beach and recycle more, especially when out and about in the city. 

“Our current recycling rate is still only 29.4% and a city like Brighton & Hove needs to do much, much better.

“We’ve installed more than 170 multi-coloured triple bins on the seafront where people can recycle cans, paper, cardboard and glass, as well as bin their litter.

“And if you can’t find a bin, please take your recycling home to put in your household collection.”

Do infinite good

Rick Hindley, Director of Every Can Counts, said: “The impact of the pandemic has affected the lives of everyone in the UK. 

“Despite this, key workers across the nation have continued to do everything they can to help and support us through this crisis. 

“From NHS workers and shop staff, all the way through to the local refuse and recycling workers who have worked tirelessly to retain a sense of normality on our streets, this installation is our way of saying thank you for everything they’ve done for us during these trying times. 

“As lockdown eases, we’ve seen huge volumes of people flock to the beaches to enjoy the summer as best they can. 

“But sadly, the result is unsightly rubbish littering our beautiful British landscapes – including many aluminium drinks cans. 

“We’re here in Brighton & Hove to remind people to take care of the planet, as the key workers have taken care of us, by cleaning up after themselves and recycling their drinks cans.

“Aluminium cans are infinitely recyclable, and the cans collected in Brighton & Hove will be recycled into new ones in just six weeks, helping us get that little bit closer to achieving our ambition of recycling all the drinks cans sold in the UK. 

“Our mission is to inspire, encourage and empower people to recycle their drink cans wherever they are.” 

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