Huhtamaki give their backing to Young Sparks

Huhtamaki give their backing to Young Sparks

Jeff Kearon, Huhtamaki and Eric Randall, Bryson Recycling.

Staff reporter


Staff reporter


Wednesday 1 September 2021 11:00

A new pilot scheme called ‘Young Sparks’ for young people aged 4-16 will receive support for further development thanks to a charity recycling initiative and local Lurgan business Huhtamaki.

The ‘Recycling Rewards’ is advocated by leading social enterprise Bryson Recycling alongside three partners, Huhtamaki in Lurgan, Cherry Pipes in Dungannon and Encirc in Fermanagh. The annual campaign runs across five council areas with more than 180,000 households, who are encouraged to recycle more for a worthwhile cause. For every tonne of plastic, glass and paper collected, £1 is donated to the nominated charity.

Young Sparks was established through Bryson Charity Group via the Bryson Fund, which is this year’s nominated charity. It was set up to help the most vulnerable at the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic. Young Sparks encourages families to take the best advantage of learning opportunities at school, promoting the value of learning as a life skill, helping build routine to strengthen the whole family unit, promote positive behaviour, resilience and confidence, enabling young people to reach their full potential.

This year’s Recycling Rewards campaign has reached the halfway mark and Young Sparks will use funds to advance the scheme further - located in Rathcoole, Ballyduff and New Mossley estates in Antrim and Newtownabbey.

Jo Marley, Director at Bryson Care says: “Young Sparks is just a small pilot currently, but we have already helped 47 children achieve better school attendance, take part in outdoor activity and families are spending more positive, quality time together. Throughout the summer we have focused on working directly with the local community to ensure that even during school holidays, there is a resource that offers learning and development opportunities in an enjoyable way. Activities have included a range of sports, exercise, crafts and even family day trips. Once school returns, we aim to provide more extracurricular events and learning opportunities for all.

“We know that there are over 12,000 children across Northern Ireland who are under achieving at school; simply because they aren’t equipped to take advantages of the opportunities available. Thanks to households recycling that little bit more, the Recycling Rewards will enable us to grow and roll out to other communities who would benefit from this type of support. Our research at Bryson Care also indicates that greater success occurs when children, families, schools and comminates work together to benefit younger generations.”

Since the Bryson Fund was launched during the height of the pandemic, it responded rapidly to existing and emerging societal need, providing £250,000 support from Bryson Charitable Group’s own reserves. More than 5,000 people to date have received emergency care in the form of home heating and electricity, along with food, essential items, white goods, and emotional support.

Eric Randall, Director at Bryson Recycling says: “It has been an incredibly tough 15 months and the most vulnerable have been isolated even further from society due to the pandemic. Recycling is a simple way for households to get involved and help. We’ve reached the halfway point of the campaign and will be donating £8309 towards Young Sparks.

“This annual campaign helps raise awareness around the importance of recycling and how it brings positive contribution to the communities we live and work in as we battle the effects of climate change

“Many of us continue to work from home and shop more online, which increases recycling levels but how we recycle your rubbish differs from other providers. We collect better, high quality materials that can be recycled locally. Over 80% of what we collect through our kerbside collection service is recycled right here in Northern Ireland. This is much better for the environment, the economy and supports over 1000 local jobs.”

Through this local circular economy approach, Bryson sends paper, plastic and glass collected on a weekly basis to local companies Huhtamaki, Cherry Pipes and Encirc who transform materials into new products.

Huhtamaki is the world leader in environmentally friendly moulded fibre packaging. The company uses 100% recycled paper and card to manufacture egg boxes for retailers such as Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer’s and cup carriers for McDonalds and Starbucks.

Cherry pipes converts plastic bottles collected into pipes for the agricultural, civil engineering and sportsfield sectors. Glass is sent to Encirc in Fermanagh where they turn the glass into bottles for food and drinks companies for well-known brands including Bushmills and Baileys.

Jeff Kearon, Supply Chain Manager at Huhtamaki adds: “Huhtamaki Lurgan are pleased to be supporting the Young Sparks scheme run by the Bryson Charity Group. This is our fifth year supporting the ‘Recycling Rewards’ and we are delighted that this years’ charity is the ‘Bryson Fund’. Never has there been a more important time to support Jo Marley and her team in helping the community. Bryson Recycling provide a source of quality paper used to produce our Fibre Egg Packaging and Cup Carrier products. We would encourage people to do their utmost to recycle more providing material we will use and at the same time support this worthy cause. It’s important to us that not only do we provide a high quality service and excellent quality products but also that we take time to give back to those in need.”

Weekly household collections with Bryson Recycling are carried out across five council areas: Antrim & Newtownabbey, Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon, Belfast, Lisburn and Castlereagh and Mid & East Antrim.

For more information on Bryson Recycling and collections visit

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