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#09.10.2018 Awareness raising activities and campaigns are the first steps towards a real recycling dynamic

By Alexis Van Maercke

The first step towards improving recycling rates is at household level – consumers choosing the correct bin for their steel packaging waste and local authorities providing suitable bins for source separation. These are key factors towards improving the quality of materials that enter recycling facilities.

When it comes to increasing consumer awareness, there are many existing industry initiatives and good practices. The report highlights two in particular: the awareness raising campaign conducted by Green Dot in Romania and a partnership between French sorting plants and local municipalities, such as in Vendée region, specifically tailored to school children.

Romania’s Green Laboratory for Recycling is a national awareness-raising campaign launched in September 2012. The purpose was to add value to the Romanian education system and increase awareness of the importance of properly sorting packaging waste.

The campaign uses multimedia interactive stages to guide students through each stage of the recycling process.

The programme was quickly recognised with two international awards: Golden Award for excellence at the European CSR Awards and the Small and Medium Business Section and Silver Stevie Award in the International Business Awards competition.

In France, interactive school visits to sorting plants allow children to interact virtually with situations in which they would have to choose how to properly sort their waste. Explanatory videos as well as interactive games are used to show children how to separate all packaging formats available in day to day life.

These examples from Romania and France both illustrate how effective awareness raising programmes can be, representing the first step towards quality improvement when it comes to steel packaging recycling.

Launched at the Steel for Packaging, a Pioneer of Circular Economy Brussels event involving representatives from the European Parliament, the European Commission, Member States and Regions, APEAL’s report: Good Practices on Separate collection, Sorting and Recycling of Steel for Packaging, has been compiled using examples of good practice from countries across the EU.

Showcasing the varied projects, systems and processes by which steel packaging is recycled the report provides detailed information for organisations and individuals wishing to learn more about a real and successful material recycling story and aiming to play a meaningful role in the drive to increase recycling and achieve a more circular economy.

Obtain the full report here