Engaging consumers to drive sustainability

Engaging consumers to drive sustainability

Packaging and sustainability are big news. However, despite unprecedented levels of interest, recycling levels remain unchanged, so we need to find ways to engage those consumers who are still not playing a part.

Simple messages are often the most effective. The most common barrier to recycling is uncertainty, so making things too complicated can backfire.
Many consumers have been inspired by the images shown on Blue Planet.

If we can help these customers to make the right choices closer to home, we can achieve a great deal. Nudge theory is an effective strategy to steer people in the right direction without restricting their freedom of choice.
Harnessing the current public interest in packaging, waste and sustainability is crucial if we are to drive change. Aside from our Data Insight Platform, which helps retailers to scrutinise supply chains and highlight areas for improvement, Valpak is also engaging directly with the public to raise awareness. This year, in addition to schemes in local schools, we have sponsored and taken part in exciting projects in the UK and further afield. In June, Valpak’s Head of Recycling Services, James Beard, joined a unique scientific expedition to the most densely-polluted beach in the world. The expedition to uninhabited Henderson Island in the Pacific Ocean generated invaluable data on the effect of marine plastic on wildlife, while the clean-up team bagged six tonnes of waste. Meanwhile, closer to home, the Upstream Battle campaign is encouraging people living near the 107-mile long Clyde river to take part in litter picks, and to join a unique citizen science project which is mapping marine litter that finds its way into the sea via rivers. If we are to harness the current level of engagement, we must rely on simple messages and instruction with clear results. Working together, we can achieve our vision for a more sustainable future.

For more information, call: 0345 068 2572 or visit: www.valpak.co.uk

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