Local authorities can access a range of new free-to-use promotional materials aimed at encouraging householders to recycle as part of the refreshed Recycle Now campaign launched today (June 22).
The refresh marks the first time that the iconic communications campaign originally launched in 2004 has been given a major overhaul, with new materials having been tailored to research carried out by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) over the barriers to recycling.
Much of the new material has been made available to coincide with the first day of Recycle Week 2015, with a focus on capturing materials that occur in the bedroom or bathroom, where WRAP believes capture rates are lower.
Material also features the slogan ‘Good to Know’ – which is aimed at reinforcing positive behaviour and strengthening residents’ desire to recycle by highlighting some of the benefits of increasing recycling.
Speaking to letsrecycle.com ahead of the launch of the new materials last week, WRAP director Marcus Gover, said: “We want to try and increase the quantity of recycling to put the UK on the path to 50% and beyond, but also to increase the quality of what is collected to get the best value of recycling.
“Our research indicates that there are four barriers to recycling, one is a situational barrier which is the system of recycling they have got and also the type of property – those are very important in being able to recycle, and obviously different property types require different types of approach. Those are areas WRAP works on as well, hoping local authorities to improve their services. The other barriers are behavioural ones and that is where Recycle now comes in.”
"We know that there is around half of the population who are already recycling and we want to get them to improve what they do, so getting them to do more. Also people who perhaps recycle more than they should and might put some of the wrong materials in, so we can improve on contamination and quantity."
Among the behavioural barriers to recycling amongst householders, Mr Gover explained, are knowledge of what can be recycled, routines people have developed for recycling and attitudes towards recycling.
He added: “Recycle Now will focus on the three behavioural areas, so first of all motivating and reminding people why to recycle, you want them afterwards to feel good about recycling and that their effort counts.
“Then there’s the knowledge, which is the guide to action. You want someone to say ‘I know what to recycle and I know how to recycle it’, and to get people recycling all the things they can around the home. If you get all of those things happening then recycling should increase.”
The new campaign is also designed to improve trust in recycling systems and highlight the ‘community benefits’ available, with materials customisable according to local circumstances.
Materials have also been designed to be more ‘direct’ with a greater emphasis on specific items such as shampoo, bleach and bathroom cleaner bottles aimed at reducing confusion over materials that can and cannot be recycled.
The campaign will also include a quarterly ‘material focus’ with a particular emphasis on different recyclable items. From September the campaign will turns its attention to plastic packaging, with a subsequent campaign on paper and card from December and glass and cans from March.
Mr Gover added: “We know that there is around half of the population who are already recycling and we want to get them to improve what they do, so getting them to do more. Also people who perhaps recycle more than they should and might put some of the wrong materials in, so we can improve on contamination and quantity.”