Visitors to Hanwell Zoo may have noticed a brand-new ‘animal’ attraction over the summer months – a life-size African Elephant created from almost 30,000 used batteries. The elephant effigy may look spectacular, but it has been created to highlight the 20,000 tonnes of batteries that end up in UK landfill sites every year.
The environmental cost of this has been described by Duracell as the ‘elephant in the room’ of the recycling debate and the company has been working to ensure that people do more to ensure their old batteries are disposed of correctly.
Duracell launched the ‘Big Battery Hunt’, calling on the help of 1.3 million pupils across the UK to help recycle double As, triple As and 9-volts. Some of these were used to create the 10ft-tall sculpture, which weighs two tonnes and Duracell has managed to 170 tonnes so far this year.
Councillor Mik Sabiers, cabinet member for environment and highways said: “I am delighted to see this amazing elephant sculpture taking up residency at Hanwell Zoo over the summer. Well done to everyone at the zoo for supporting this brilliant cause and helping to raise awareness of just how important it is to recycle batteries and avoid sending them to landfill.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for finance and leisure said: “There are so many reasons to come to Hanwell Zoo and its wonderful animals are worth a visit any time of year. This new fantastic, attractive and colourful addition sends home a really strong message in the days when we are striving to save the planet.
“I’m really proud to have Hanwell Zoo in the heart of our borough – it’s a real gem for both local people and visitors from far and wide. The zoo also plays a vital role in conservation and education programmes.”
Jim Gregory of Hanwell Zoo said: “It’s been brilliant to host the Big Battery Hunt elephant for the summer and we very keen to continue to encourage our visitors to reduce landfill waste.
“Our environment is so fragile, and now more than ever we all need to be doing our bit to protect our planet and the incredible biodiversity that calls it home.
“We all have a responsibility to be more sustainable and we are calling on all of our visitors to make a difference by bringing their used batteries along with them on their visit to Hanwell Zoo. We have bins in place to collect all the used batteries you can find.”
The Elephant sculpture remained at Hanwell Zoo until earlier this week.
Visit Hanwell Zoo’s website for details on admission and opening times.
Visit the zoo’s facebook page for further details of upcoming events.