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Coke reaches out for ideas on how to increase recycling in the UK

By: PRW

April 3, 2014

Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd. (CCE) has launched a new recycling challenge campaign to get more United Kingdom households recycling their plastic bottles after research found most other European countries recycled far more.

While a YouGov survey last year found 75 percent of British and French residents claimed to ‘always’ recycle at home, a six-month study of 20 households in England and France, conducted by CCE and the University of Exeter, found only around half of all plastic bottles in both countries were recycled, well below the European average of 61 percent.

Uxbridge, England-based Coca-Cola Enterprises is a bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola products in Europe.

Among a number of outcomes, the study concluded that consumers needed to break old recycling habits and start new ones, and that many householders did not have an accurate understanding of what happened to their waste once it had been collected.

Many believed such plastic waste was simply sent to landfill, rather than being reused in new products, while others in the study were unwilling to make room on their property for a recycling bin, CCE said.

As a result of the study’s findings, CCE has launched an 11-week campaign in collaboration with ‘open innovation’ platform Openideo.com, aimed at the latter’s 60,000 online members to come up with solutions to improve at-home recycling habits.

“While we can leverage our experience and expertise to educate and inspire consumers to recycle more often, we recognize we don’t have all the answers,” said Joe Franses, CCE’s corporate responsibility and sustainability director.

“So, we are collaborating with other thought leaders, and the best creative minds in the Openideo.com global community, to help generate ideas that could deliver real change in at-home recycling habits.”

Liz Goodwin, chief executive of recycling and waste consultancy Wrap, said: “The UK has made fantastic progress in recycling over the last ten years and now recycles four times as much which means we now recycle more than we send to landfill.

“This is great news for the environment and economy, but there’s still a lot more we can all do. The recycling challenge is a great way to stimulate debate, share expertise and encouraging creativity around recycling to create real change.”