A giant rainbow installation appeared on Friday morning at the top of Grainger Street, in front of Grey’s Monument.

The impressive arch, measuring four metres high and seven metres wide, is made out of over 2,500 recycled drink cans.

It was installed by not-for-profit Every Can Counts in collaboration with Newcastle City Council to bring awareness to the importance of can recycling around Earth Day (Friday 22nd April).

According to Every Can Counts’ research, Geordies drink an average of six cans a week, of which people say they recycle around 70% of empty cans.*

Even though nine in 10 Geordies surveyed say that they understand the benefits of recycling, more than a quarter (27 per cent) admit that they don’t recycle while out of the house.

Not only this, but 68% of people in Newcastle say they are more concerned about the environment and their impact on it than they were this time last year.

Residents suggest that more recyclable packaging and monetary incentives such as the planned deposit return scheme would encourage them to recycle more.

Chris Latham-Warde, Programme Manager for Every Can Counts, said: Our rainbow installation has toured all over the UK and we’re so excited that it’s finally making its debut in Newcastle for Earth Day. This year, the theme is ‘Invest in our Planet’, and that message has never been so important.

“Each and every one of us can make a difference and recycling our empty drink cans is an example of a small habit we can all adopt that has a positive impact on the environment. All of the cans collected in Newcastle over the weekend could be recycled and refilled on shop shelves in just 60 days – and because every can is infinitely recyclable, the benefits of keeping that valuable aluminium in circulation keep adding up again and again!

“Recycling rates were at an all-time high during the national lockdowns and, now that restrictions have been lifted, it’s essential that we keep up the momentum. We hope our colourful rainbow pop-up this weekend will inspire the people of Newcastle to do just that!”

Christine Herriot, Newcastle City Council’s director of operations and regulatory services, added: “It’s fantastic to have this eye-catching rainbow art installation in the heart of our city this weekend, which will certainly get people talking and help spread the message about the importance of recycling.

“We know residents take great pride in having a clean and tidy city, which was demonstrated by the incredible turn out for the Great British Spring Clean.

“We thank all of the volunteers, businesses and community groups who played their part in helping us to tidy up their communities and it shows what we can achieve for our environment when we work together.

“It’s important everyone continues to take responsibility and dispose of their empty packaging properly. If there is not a public bin nearby, or you arrive at a bin that is already full, please take your litter home and recycle it there instead.

“We hope everyone enjoys having their pictures taken with this brilliant piece of artwork this weekend and remembers the important message behind it.”

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. To find out more information about Every Can Counts, visit www.everycancounts.co.uk.