Reflecting on a Sustainable Summer

The growing demand for festivals to go plastics-free this summer led to a significant rise in the interest in the drink can recycling programme, Every Can Counts. Festivals are big business, and the UK has gained a reputation for hosting a diverse calendar of events large and small.  However, organisers are under significant pressure to ensure their events are as sustainable as possible.

Every Can Counts is the leading programme to promote drink can recycling; originally conceived in 2009, our aim remains simple and straightforward – to inspire everyone to make a difference by recycling their drink cans when they are away from home.

The programme has enjoyed its busiest and most productive Summer, a fitting way to celebrate its 10th anniversary.  Present at over 30 festivals and sports events, the team has directly engaged with close to 10,000 people about the infinite recyclability of the humble drink can.  Using a range of creative experiences enables the team to drive up recycling rates at an event, but importantly to drive positive behaviour change long after the glitter and mud are washed away.

A collective audience of over 1 million people had the opportunity to interact with the Every Can Counts recycling ambassadors and their unique can recycling back packs, to view the Every Can Counts video on big screens, and new in 2019, the innovative and engaging can cages and voting bins. At five festivals, people were encouraged to bring drink cans to the Every Can Counts pitch in return for money-can’t-buy tee-shirts – this alone generated nearly 50,000 more cans collected for recycling by the onsite waste contractor.

Andy Ellis, Director of Lost Village Festival said “Every Can Counts helped us bring a sharp focus on recycling and educate our customers more than ever. It’s clear that the solution to waste is anthropic; leading by example, engaging and, quite simply, talking to people and spreading the word. Every Can Count’s strong presence in our campsite, combined with their personable and passionate team, harnessed undeniably positive results at Lost Village 2019.

The Every Can Counts programme is unique in that it brings together a broad spectrum of partners; organisers of iconic festivals, sports events, well-known drink brands, independent event organisers, packaging manufacturers, community groups, industry bodies and waste and recycling contractors.

Chris Latham-Warde, Every Can Counts programme manager said “This Summer’s programme is our biggest year so far!   We’re excited to work with long-term partners such as Festival Republic, and to have developed new partnerships with acclaimed independent festivals 2000trees in Cheltenham and Lost Village in Lincolnshire.  We are also supporting Tough Mudder at ten of their nationwide obstacle race events, as well as working with grassroots community events.

“We are passionate about what we do and are determined to change the game.   The UK aluminium drink can recycling rate stands at 75% and we will do everything in our power to improve this figure year on year.”

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