How on earth do you triple the national recycling rate?
When the UK recycling rate was down at 12% and there was little positivity about recycling amongst the public, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) asked for our help to change recycling attitudes and behaviours at the national level. Our core thought was to position recycling as an integral and enjoyable part of everyday activities. We developed the ‘Recycle Now’ programme and a new national recycling brand identity to do just that.
The new national recycling identity we created – the recycle loop – embodies the positive nature of the activity. It tells people that the simple act of recycling a drinks can or a newspaper feels good and does good. The family of supporting campaign icons we created provides consumers with nationally consistent guidance on what can be recycled where, while a range of leaflets, signage and other templated materials allows local authorities to promote their own services, while highlighting the ease and value of recycling and how it fits into everyday activities.
Recycle Now has exceeded expectations and contributed to a major, sustained uplift in the amount we all recycle. The national recycling rate has more than tripled to 43%. The recycle loop is now a universally recognised symbol that features on millions of products and signs across the nation. And perhaps Recycle Now’s biggest legacy to date is the 32 million people – almost two-thirds of the adult population – who now class themselves as ‘committed recyclers’.