World Environment Day 2021: Every Can Counts Launches European Recycling Tour
An inspiring ‘on the go’ recycling campaign will run simultaneously in 15 countries and 19 locations across Europe to celebrate outdoor spaces and promote a more circular economy.
On the 5th of June, from lakes and city squares to parks and shopping streets, there will be a sight to behold all over Europe. Small teams with colourful backpacks will be buzzing around on a mission: to encourage people to keep public outdoor spaces clean and recycle their drink cans wherever they are.
Prompted by World Environment Day and a pandemic-induced increase in littering observed all over Europe, this initiative by Every Can Counts is a coordinated creative campaign taking place simultaneously in 15 countries and 19 locations. The backpackers participating in the European Recycling Tour 2021 will be seen in Austria, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
While 2021 marks the first time this backpack campaign will run on a European scale, the concept behind it originates from 2017. What began as a local ‘on the go’ recycling and awareness activation will now serve as a platform to help amplify key messages and encourage small but important behavioural changes.
“Outdoor public spaces provided a much-needed escapism during the pandemic, and now is our turn to help protect them from an impending ‘littering pandemic’, a phenomenon we have sadly witnessed lately on a global scale. But World Environment Day is also a great opportunity to inspire people to put their empties in the right bin and invite them to be part of our vision for a 100% real aluminium drink can recycling. At the same time, the amount of energy saved by recycling (95%) corresponds to an equivalent saving in GHG emissions, making every can we recycle a key enabler for a truly circular economy”, says David Van Heuverswyn, Director of Every Can Counts Europe.
Buzzing backpackers on a mission to inspire and recycle drink cans across Europe
With outdoor public spaces becoming havens for relaxation, exercise, and escape during the pandemic, people have never been more aware of their important function. But when it comes to recycling in general, and “out of home” in particular, more work needs to be done. In a European poll conducted by Every Can Counts in 2020, while more than three-quarters of respondents said they always or often put their drinks packaging in the recycling bin when at home, only 48% recycle in outdoor locations. At the same time, 93% of Europeans would like to see more recycling bins on the streets, in public spaces, parks, beaches, or on trails.
The European Recycling Tour aims to remind people that keeping public outdoor spaces clean is a truly collaborative effort. Small everyday acts, like proper waste disposal, can help us all towards a more sustainable living and a healthier planet.
The key message will be communicated playfully through various activities on the day, such as outdoor games, dance acts, and the now Instagram-famous rainbow of cans art installation. Each tour location will celebrate public spaces in a special way, with the backpackers roaming Amsterdam, Ardèche, Athens, Belgrade, Brno, Bucharest, Budva, Dublin, Genoa, Kotor, Krakow, Ljubljana, Madrid, Manchester, Prague, Siófok, Thessaloniki, Vienna, and Wroclaw.
Always engaging in a socially distant way, they will encourage citizens to keep their surroundings clean and ask them to drop their used drink cans in their backpacks to make sure they will be recycled. People will also be offered to participate in short surveys with prizes and share their own recycling stories on social media channels with #EuropeanRecyclingTour2021.