Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 14.15.09After keeping to his promise to wash, squash and recycle his plastic bottles and cans, a North Tyneside resident has won £100 worth of shopping vouchers.

John Jackson, who lives in North Shields, has been awarded the high street vouchers as part of a North Tyneside Council campaign.

The ‘Changing Our Thinking’ initiative has been up and running since 2014 and aims to improve recycling rates and help to reduce food waste.

As part of the campaign, residents are encouraged to take a pledge to wash, squash and recycle their plastic bottles and cans.

Spot checks are then carried out to make sure they are and – if they do – they are entered into a monthly prize draw to win £100 of shopping vouchers.

John Jackson was delighted to receive his prize after keeping to his recycling promise, he said: “I was asked to make the pledge after a member of the team knocked on my door, it was a great and an easy way of getting me involved.

“The competition is a good idea and I would encourage others to do it. I’m still squashing furiously every day!

“It felt marvellous to win and my wife and kids already have their eyes on what they’ll be buying with my vouchers.”

Cllr John Stirling, cabinet member for Environment, added:  “Wash, squash and recycle is a very straightforward message and we’re delighted that so many residents already do this routinely when sorting their waste.

“Washing bottles and cans means there are no liquids that can contaminate paper while in the recycling bin and makes it a more pleasant job for the staff sorting waste.  And squashing them means there is room in your bin to recycle even more.

“This part of the campaign is coming to an end soon, so that means there’s now a chance to win the grand prize of £1,000 worth of shopping vouchers for those who pledge to wash, squash and recycle and keep to it.”

Recycling one plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a 60W light bulb for six hours, whereas it takes 500 years for a plastic bottle to decompose.

And recycling an aluminium can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours, whereas it takes 100 years for the can to decompose.

The campaign runs until the end of February, and residents are encouraged to take a pledge online or at a roadshow currently touring the borough.

More information can be found at www.northtyneside.gov.uk or by calling 0345 2000 103.