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The big idea

The Big Recycle will be the first time there has been a concerted effort by key players in the industry to promote recycling intensively over a short period of time. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is working with organisations including Alcan, British Glass, Corus, PaperChain, Recoup and Valpak on the project.

The main focus of events will centre on the week beginning October 18, preceded by a national advertising campaign by WRAP. However, the campaigns organisers have opted not to call it a national recycling week because they hope that the publicity will keep recycling in the public eye for the final quarter of the year.

There was a fledgling National Recycling Week last year, although it was on a much smaller scale organised by only one company, Environmental Business Products (EBP). EBP is one of the worlds leading suppliers of remanufactured inkjet and compatible inkjet cartridges. It launched the national recycling week after feedback from clients suggested frustration at low recycling rates due to poor public knowledge of where cartridges could be deposited.

Commenting on last years campaign, an EBP spokesman says the initiative was called a national recycling week in order to capture the publics imagination.

He says: We did some research that suggested people didnt understand what was happening with various different initiatives under different names, such as Waste Awareness and Rethink Rubbish. National Recycling Week clearly identifies whats happening.

EBPs campaign was small fry compared with this years Big Recycle, and it was unable to collate any figures on exactly how successful the campaign was in terms of pushing up recycling rates. However, it was able to gauge how successfully the campaign entered the publics consciousness by monitoring the media.

The spokesman says: A number of radio stations responded really well to our press releases and organised phone-ins on recycling, which proved extremely popular and encouraged a dialogue between residents and local authorities. It raised important issues, such as the sense in bringing waste to recycling centres if it takes an hour to get there.

It really helped people understand the recycling process and local authorities discover how they could best encourage residents to recycle.

Despite being a small campaign, EBPs efforts didnt go unnoticed and it was able to link up with WRAP to set the ball rolling for the Big Recycle. This years campaign is not organised by just one body, but rather all the countrys leading materials organisations.

These bodies and WRAP have provided funding for the promotional materials, such as posters and literature on recycling, which will be made available to local authorities and schools. Big Recycle is unable to put an exact figure on how much is being spent on the campaign.

But a spokesman says: How much is spent will depend on the amount of materials requested by local authorities, although its safe to say WRAPs contribution will come from its £30 million fund.

WRAP hasnt just given money for promotional materials. In the weeks leading up to the Big Recycle, it will launch an advertising campaign across television and press in England that will run for 18 months, encouraging consumers to recycle with the strapline Recycling, the possibilities are endless.


The first TV adverts will be aired on September 27 and will highlight the transformation that occurs when something is recycled. There will be three different versions of the TV advert: a 30-second version on cans and two 10-second variations on glass and paper. The adverts will run nationally on Channel 4 and Five; on satellite channels such as ITV2 and UKGold; and on ITV1 in the Granada, Midlands and Yorkshire regions with further ITV1 regions to be added from Boxing Day.

These adverts will lay the foundations for the Big Recycle by pushing recycling into the national consciousness. WRAPs advertising

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