Olympic bra challenge clears early hurdles

By on 24/02/2011 in News

Birmingham's Olympic-inspired bra recycling challenge is gathering pace, after it was announced that more than 7,000 have been collected since August of last year.

Eleven banks - similar to those used to collect glass and paper - were placed at locations across the city last summer and the City Council set environmentally-minded residents the goal of recycling enough to cover the distance of a marathon by the time the 2012 Olympics come to the UK.

The UK's average bra size is 36 inches, which is the equivalent to one yard. There are 1,760 yards in a mile, and the Olympic-themed challenge means 46,145 bras will need to be donated in the next 17 months to cover the race distance of 26 miles and 385 yards.

So far local women have donated the equivalent of four miles of bras (7,055), which if laid out would reach from the Council House in Victoria Square to the city's Energy Recovery Facility at Tyseley.

In athletic terms, this is equivalent to Jonathan Edwards, the British World Triple Jump record holder, repeating his medal-winning feat more than 350 times.

The bras are recycled to raise money for Breast Friends, a Sutton Coldfield-based charity that supports women with breast cancer. The collection is sold by weight and since the launch of the Olympic challenge 415kg has been received.

BCR Global Textiles, a local recycling firm, then sells the bras to traders in developing countries, giving women there a garment they may otherwise not have access to.

Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, whose portfolio covers sustainability and climate change, said: “It is brilliant to see that our bra recycling campaign has launched out of the starting blocks.

“This is a simple but imaginative part of the council's recycling service and I hope we capture the 'faster, higher, stronger' ethos of the Olympics through this scheme.

“By collecting bras at an even faster rate, we will get higher returns for charitable causes, making them stronger in the process.”


Notes to editors

1. The full list of locations for the bra recycling banks is as follows:

-    Sainsbury's, Castle Vale Retail Park, Chester Road, Castle Vale, Birmingham, B35 6HB
-    Sainsbury's, 1059-1061 Alcester Road South, Maypole, Birmingham, B14 5TN
-    Sainsbury's, Frankley Beeches Road, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 5AA
-    Tesco, Ridgeacre Road, Quinton, Birmingham, B32 1EG
-    Cocks Moors Woods Leisure Centre, Alcester Road South, Kings Heath, B14 6ER
-    Tesco, Coleshill Road, Hodge Hill, Birmingham, B36 8DT
-    Sainsbury's, 1 Chapel Lane, Selly Oak, Birmingham, B29 6SJ
-    Lidl, 33 Kings Road, Sutton Coldfield, B73 5AB
-    Silver Street Pay & Display car park, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7QU
-    Four Oaks railway station car park, Off Lichfield Road, (A5127), Four Oaks, Birmingham, B74 2TD
-    Tesco, 278-299 Aston Lane, Witton, Birmingham, B5 5QR.

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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