Launched on World Environment Day, the International Recycling Tour is an upbeat initiative by Every Can Counts that aims to communicate the importance of drink cans recycling in 17 countries and 24 cities.
Empowered by the successful results of last year’s ‘on the go’ recycling campaign, which reached over four million people across Europe, Every Can Counts kicked off an even more ambitious campaign this summer.
Adding Brazil and Colombia to its roster of countries, the International Recycling Tour 2022 is an inspiring project that combines drink can recycling with environmental awareness and fun activities. With ambassadors carrying colourful recycling backpacks, the tour connected with thousands of people during World Environment Day, celebrating public spaces and inspiring people to put their drink cans in the right bin.
Volunteers for Every Can Counts were spotted in 24 cities in iconic locations such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Copacabana in Rio, and various vibrant and imaginative installations and activities left their mark on the public. There was something for everyone; from Serbia’s biggest picnic and swimming area Ada Ciganlija to the evergreen parks Portheimka in Prague and Vondelpark in Amsterdam, and from Bucharest’s Arch of Triumph to Florence, and to Crete’s sandy beaches, little spectacles greeted cheerful guests. The now famous Pixelcan became a showstopper in all the cities it appeared, with a notable appearance by a Jubilee-themed version in the UK. Also, on display in various places was the iconic #EveryCanCounts Rainbow, created from over 2,500 recycled cans, which became an instant Instagram hit. And then there were the interactive games and competitions, along with dancers, DJs and entertainers to add to the buzz.
The indispensable partnerships with local authorities, eco-conscious influencers and popular drink brands were a big part of the recycling activities, which will continue throughout summer in different locations where the Every Can Counts programme operates.
Watch the highlights 👇
But this is more than a recycling tour
A common concern highlighted by the citizens who interacted with the recycling ambassadors was the protection of the environment. And while recycling is very important, more things can be done to advance this goal. This was further demonstrated by a survey conducted in 14 European countries by the LUCID polling agency in association with Every Can Counts. The survey found that a staggering 9 out of 10 Europeans would like companies to improve the recyclability of their drink packaging.
87% of Europeans think that companies should only use packaging that is infinitely recyclable
At the same time, while individual responsibility is very important, 87% of respondents said that companies should only use packaging that is infinitely recyclable, while 89% believe that companies should be held responsible for the packaging they select, and should only use fully recyclable packaging. Less than 7 out of 10 believe consumers should be held responsible for the packaging they buy. When asked about necessary initiatives to protect the environment, 69% of people prioritised reducing waste, 63% encouraging individuals to recycle more, followed by initiatives around reversing habitat loss, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy and discouraging companies (through taxation or otherwise) from using products that damage the environment.
But recycling is challenging, and consumers would like more support. Amongst the more than 12,800 people interviewed, only 52% always recycle their drink cans when at home, and recycling rates drop even further when out of the home, with only 33% of Europeans placing their drink cans in recycling bins when at work, and 30% when out and about.
“Despite the challenges highlighted in our survey, the warm and passionate response that our recycling ambassadors encountered during our campaign gives us the optimism and the determination to make the International Recycling Tour bigger and better! In the meantime, let’s #KeepTheCycleGoing by always putting your empty drink cans in the right bin!” says David Van Heuverswyn, Director of Every Can Counts Europe.