UK needs effective engagement plan to encourage recycling
The UK needs a more visible national campaign to encourage recycling, according to a waste expert at Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE).
Speaking before the first of a series of workshops to help local authorities communicate better with residents, CCE's associate director for recycling, Nick Brown, said the services to collect recyclables are in place but householders needed to be inspired to use them more often.
Research by CCE has found "uncertainty" among the public in relation to recycling and Brown said more needs to be done to explain what happens to materials once they leave the kerbside.
Tomorrow, CCE is due to host the first of a series of workshops designed to encourage packaging recycling. Organised by WRAP, the workshops are for local authority officers and their communications contractors. Sainsbury's, LARAC and the Local Government Association are also involved.
They will explore cost effective ways of using communications to increase public participation in recycling, including suggestions on working with brands and retailers to engage the public and how social media can be used to enhance participation.
Brown said local authorities have done "a great job" to put in place services to collect recyclable materials from households, but clear communications can help improve engagement with residents.
"We want to work [more closely with] the sector on communications to help householders use their local service and understand what happens to the materials," he explained.
"We know from our consumers that some have uncertainty about recycling, not helped by a lack of visible national campaign activity. To further accelerate recycling in this country, we all need to inspire householders to recycle more."
CCE is one of 11 companies and organisations funding the new 'Plastics Matters' initiative, launched at last week's Recoup Plastics Recycling Conference. The project will kick off with an extensive study into consumer behaviour in a bid to design a national campaign to help the public understand what can and can't be recycled.
WRAP's head of community partnerships, Louise Bowe, said it is essential to communicate with residents so they have the "know-how and motivation to use services fully".
The first of the workshops will be in Morpeth, followed by one in West Yorkshire on October 31 2013 and more in the New Year for the West Midlands (February 12 2014), Eastern (February 27 2014) and South East (March 5 2014) regions.