The countdown to festive fun in Crawley has begun - with an eco-friendly twist.
A Christmas tree made of more than 600 reused green plastic bottles will stand outside Crawley Library in Southgate Avenue throughout December.
The Christmas tree lights will be officially switched on at 4.30pm on Thursday, December 1 by David Barling, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for residents’ services.
The tree was designed by artist Tracey Graham, known as the ‘Rubbish Artist’, in 2013 to help highlight plastic recycling in West Sussex.
Mince pies will be served at the grand opening, with the West Sussex Waste Prevention Team on hand to provide recycling hints and waste prevention tips for throughout the festive season.
West Wittering Primary School won the competition to design the star which will top the tree.
Mr Barling said: “I am delighted to be switching on the Christmas tree lights which will bring attention to the fantastic star design by West Wittering Primary School and to the need for increased recycling in West Sussex.
“This tree is a striking way to highlight how plastic can be recycled and reused again and again.”
An estimated 166 million plastic bottles were recycled in West Sussex during the last year, out of a possible 262 million, the council says.
Mr Barling added: “Across West Sussex our recycling levels are high thanks to our residents, but we could all do better.
“Our statistics show that an incredible 96 million plastic bottles weren’t recycled last year.
“As long as they are clean, dry and loose, all your plastic bottles, pots, tubs and trays can be recycled.”
The tree will be bringing festive cheer to Crawley until January.
Have you checked out our new Christmas section yet?
It’s packed with ideas and tips to ensure you make the most out of the festive season.
There’s recipes, suggestions for presents and everything from choosing your tree to recycling your packaging and paper.