Coca-Cola, Nestle, Tesco launch campaigns to up recycling rates

Coca-Cola, Nestle, Tesco launch campaigns to up recycling rates

Tesco and drinks bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises have recycled a successful campaign that aims to encourage consumers to reduce the amount of rubbish they send to landfill.

The two companies have this week announced the launch of a website that asks Tesco's online shoppers to pledge to recycle more at home in return for a small incentive in the form of a 50 pence voucher or Tesco Clubcard loyalty points.

A similar campaign last year generated around 37,000 recycling pledges from consumers. Although it is unclear how many of these pledges were followed through, the companies maintain that the approach has successfully helped raise awareness of the need to recycle.

Despite progress over the past decade, England's recycling rate has stalled at around 44 percent in recent years, cranking up pressure on policy-makers and businesses to emulate the success enjoyed in Wales where recycling rates have hit 57 percent.

Nick Brown, associate director of Recycling for Coca-Cola Enterprises, said he hoped the combination of awareness raising and pledging would have an influence on consumer behavior. "We are committed to helping the public make positive changes and hope the fun and practical tips provided in this campaign will address some of the barriers to at-home recycling," he said.

The campaign website also offers tips and advice on what can and cannot be recycled, as well as a game which after playing results in a follow-up email to congratulate customers on making their pledge.

The government is also seeking to embrace incentives as a way of boosting national recycling rates. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles recently proposed to reward households who recycle with shopping vouchers, arguing it would be better than "punishing them with draconian fines" if they fail to do enough. 

The news comes in the same week as Coca-Cola Enterprises announced it has teamed up with Keep Scotland Beautiful to develop a national network of Local Environmental Champions in a bid to encourage waste reduction measures. The scheme will see the creation of an online knowledge hub that will host information around the campaign and provide advice to campaigners.

Meanwhile, Nestlé UK & Ireland has today announced it is supporting Pledge 4 Plastics, a government-backed national initiative that aims to boost recycling of plastic packaging in the UK.

Led by Recoup, a plastics recycling charity, the initiative aims to double the amount of packaging that is recycled between 2013 and 2017.

"We have developed a clear communication plan that will help to increase consumers understanding of plastic recycling and hopefully have a positive effect on the amount of plastic packaging recycled in the UK," said Alison Ingle, Nestlé UK & Ireland group packaging manager.

This article first appeared at BusinessGreen Plus and is reprinted with permission.

Top image of bottle being recycled by spwidoff via Shutterstock