Harrogate Water turns to iconic Tidyman logo to raise recycling awareness

As reports emerge that UK ministers are likely to reject a plastic bottle deposit scheme, Britain's largest independent bottled water company has agreed to place the iconic 'Tidyman' logo on its products in a new partnership with Keep Britain Tidy.

Around 60% of plastic bottles are recycled, yet little incentive has been placed on businesses or consumers to increase this figure. The Government has seemingly chosen to reject a new levy scheme on plastic bottles, but that hasn’t stopped Harrogate Water from raising public awareness.

Harrogate Water, which recycles 100% of its glass and plastic bottles, has agreed a new partnership with Keep Britain Tidy to place the Tidyman logo onto bottles of Harrogate Spring and Thirsty Planet. This agreement forms part of a wider partnership that will see Harrogate Water commissions research about plastic recycling.

“We support the urgent call to action by Prince Charles who has asked businesses to play their part in creating a circular economy to maximise recycling and minimise waste,” Harrogate Water’s marketing executive Nicky Cain said.

“We can and must do better. We are confident the public is behind recycling and that we can keep momentum towards more sustainable recycling levels.”

The Tidyman logo is used to help consumers understand how their actions impact on the environment and to encourage correct disposal methods. To spread the message further, Harrogate Water will act as the primary sponsor on Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean campaign in March, where volunteers are encouraged to clean litter from their neighbourhoods.

The iconic logo has recently been used to quell concerns that high-street coffee chains were failing to address the recyclability of their paper cups. Last year, Costa Coffee replaced the Mobius Loop symbol – the three arrows in a triangle – with the ‘Tidy Man’ logo to encourage more consumers to responsibly dispose of their cups.

Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “We are always delighted to partner with like-minded organisations which care for the environment and we greatly appreciate the support of Harrogate Water. We look forward to working closely with them to influence consumer attitudes and encourage more recycling.”

Take-back scheme

Harrogate Water’s efforts arrived after reports emerged that UK ministers will move to reject a scheme to add a 10p or 20p surcharge onto the purchase of bottles or cans. Built on studies in Europe which show that the levy could increase recycling rates of the bottles to 98%, the scheme would also offer consumers money back if they return empty bottles to in-store collection points.

Commenting on the reported rejection, London-based recycling and waste management firm First Mile’s founder Bruce Bratley said: “A deposit scheme is an opportunity to instil a sense of accountability for the environment amongst individuals and businesses because every generation is meant to be greener than the last. However, we have to make recycling simple and prioritise what needs an incentive and what doesn’t.

“Glass bottles is where the bigger problem lies in the UK and is particularly valuable because glass can be recycled over and over again. The problem with glass bottles is that when they go into mixed recycling they’re hard to separate; they get broken and there’s clear, brown and green glass to sort.”  

Businesses are making efforts to tackle the rise in discarded plastic bottles. In 2015, London retailer Selfridges stopped the sale of single-use plastic water bottles in its shops as part of a campaign to reduce pollution of the oceans.

Last week, the world’s biggest furniture retailer Ikea has launched a new range of kitchen fronts made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles and reclaimed wood.

Matt Mace

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie