This entry was shortlisted in the 2012 Peer Award “Sustainability and the Environment” category
Encouraging Consumer Recycling
using your brand to influence customers and inspire behaviour change
One of Coca-Cola Enterprises’ commitments is “to set the standard for sustainable packaging, achieve zero waste in our operations and recycle more packaging than we use.” Our approach to recycling is carbon driven: packaging accounts for 48% of the cradle-to-grave carbon footprint of our business.
To lower our carbon footprint we need to address how we produce packaging; the quality of the recycling schemes in place to support collection; and finally the behaviour of our consumers.
This is why CCE is focusing on educating and inspiring people to recycle more through recycling programs.
• Our Recycle Zone programme in partnership with WRAP is the largest out-of-home recycling solution in Great Britain.
• In 2011, we partnered with supermarkets ASDA and Sainsbury’s to run recycling roadshows at over 40 stores across GB.
• In 2011, we held ‘Rock our Rubbish’ events during 17 outdoor festivals in GB, visited by over 535,000 people and receiving more than 5 million visitor views. Our efforts were awarded “Best Sponsor Activation” at the 2010 UK Festival Awards.
• In 2012, we will also make recycling a core element of the Olympic Torch Relay.
We tackled changing consumer recycling behaviours with the same disciplined approach we would with any marketing we develop. We commissioned research to understand why householders make certain decisions with their packaging, plus which messages resonate with them. Findings identified a critical demographic for whom intentions are better than actions – they recycle occasionally and not all materials. Most packaging is also thrown away at home, so the greatest opportunity to recover more material is by encouraging recycling at home. Addressing these issues now forms the core of our consumer communications and recycling programmes.
Our research revealed that most packaging is thrown away at home, so the greatest opportunity to recover more material is by encouraging recycling at home. This is what we have tried to target through our promotions with Asda and Sainsbury’s in GB, and Carrefour in France. Although they have been successful, we need to do more and to be even more creative in tackling this issue if we want to make a difference.
Consumers also think that recycling schemes are too complicated and believe it should be easier for them and their families to recycle..
“The best sustainability programme we have ever seen at a music festival. The Coca-Cola activation was fun, engaging but ultimately serious in changing how our consumers behaved with their waste. ‘Rock your rubbish’ rocked our event.” John Giddings, CEO Isle of Wight Festival
Besides our actions to influence consumer behaviours, we have built a comprehensive approach that also tackles how we produce packaging; and the quality of the recycling schemes in place to support collection. We are aiming to transform recycling in GB, going beyond traditional sustainability models focused on our own business operations.
Nick Brown, Associate Director for Recycling