Following the overwhelming success of the UK’s inaugural Food Waste Action Week, WRAP today announces the names of the first corporate donors for its other huge week of environmental action – Recycle Week 2021.
The first donors include several major retailers and household brands who have committed to supporting Recycle Week. Co-op, Coca-Cola Great Britain, Danone, Ocado and Waitrose are the first to confirm their involvement in the annual campaign to inspire more recycling, more widely and more often.
After the amazing response to the environmental messaging in its Food Waste Action Week – WRAP believes 2021 has the potential to be the most significant Recycle Week since the campaign began in 2004. The theme of Recycle Week 2021 is being kept under wraps and will be announced in good time for the Week, which runs from 20– 26 September.
WRAP today also reveals several findings from its most recent citizen survey of UK recycling habits and behaviours. This shows that nearly ninety per cent of people have changed their recycling behaviour as a direct result of Recycle Week, with the percentage of the population recycling continuing to rise steadily. This is now up to 89% of the UK who regularly recycle.
The organisation is currently speaking with potential corporate funders and is keen to hear from interested businesses and brands who wish to support Recycle Week.
Last year was the first in which WRAP sought commercial funding for the annual campaign, with 15 donors supporting the 2020 campaign. This financial support enabled WRAP to significantly increase the scope of Recycle Week and raise its profile even higher, with 26 million digital impressions during the week and an estimated reach of 185 million through public relations and media relations activities – up from 59 million in 2019.
Much of this was due to the emotive Recycle Week ‘hero’ film being shared, which achieved more than 1.5 million views in just seven days, and a huge range of activities that happened across the UK, throughout the Week.
Marcus Gover, WRAP CEO, said: “We know that Recycle Week is something the public are extremely passionate about and saw a huge response to Food Waste Action Week too. It’s clear the public wants action on the environment and is keen to be part of the change needed – and that’s what Recycle Week is all about.
“Last year we had our most successful Recycle Week ever, despite the pandemic, and due in no small part to the overwhelming support of our donors. We know that as much as 44% of people say they would be more likely to purchase or shop with a brand that supports Recycle Week, so this year I want to go even further, and for that we need even more UK businesses and brands to get on board.
Comments from current (and 2020) sponsors:
Iain Ferguson, environmental manager, Co-op, said: “Co-op is a long-standing, committed supporter of Recycle Week and WRAP. Recycle Week provides a great opportunity to co-operate across the industry and motivate the public to recycle, ensuring this important campaign has a consistent message which we are delighted to help communicate”.
Jon Woods, general manager, Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, said: “We are always proud to support WRAP Recycle Week. All of our packaging is 100% recyclable and last year, we doubled the amount of recycled plastic in all our plastic bottles from 25% to 50%. Encouraging people to dispose of packaging in the right way is crucial if we want to eliminate waste as a society. As part of our World Without Waste programme, we have committed to collecting and recycling a bottle or can for everyone we sell by 2030, as well as reducing the overall amount of plastic we use in our products.”
Rebecca Lovelady, social innovation & sustainability manager, Danone UK & Ireland, said: “We really believe that collaboration is key to accelerate the move to a circular economy for packaging. We are proud to continue to support Recycle Week in 2021, to empower more consumers across the UK to recycle.”
Rebecca Pow, Environment Minister, DEFRA, said: “Recycling plays a crucial role in protecting the environment and getting the most out of our precious and finite resources.
“We have a very exciting future ahead for recycling in the UK, including our landmark reforms for packaging and waste collections which will make it easier for consumers and businesses to recycle more of what they use every day.
“Recycle Week is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the important progress we are making and to raise awareness of what more we can all do to recycle and reuse our waste and resources.”
Jo West, head of sustainability, Ocado, said: “We continue to support WRAP in the work they do on raising awareness around recycling. They continue to be the central voice for consumers to better understand the benefits of recycling and help make a complex topic much easier to digest.”
Karen Graley, partner & manager, packaging innovation and delivery, Waitrose, said: “Recycle Week is a really important way of inspiring consumers to play their part and we’re delighted to support it again this year. We’re also working on ways to make recycling easier, from innovating with our packaging, to expanding what can be recycled so people can recycle more things and more often.”