Make A Habit To Break A Habit: Coca-Cola Enterprises Launches Challenge To Improve Recycling Habits At Home Through

Mar 31, 2014 5:15 AM ET

· Only around half of all plastic bottles in both Great Britain and France are recycled, which is below the European average[1]

· A pioneering six-month study with the University of Exeter observed recycling behaviours in 20 households in Great Britain and France to help understand the barriers to at-home recycling

· The study identified the need for people to break old recycling habits and form new ones

· Coca-Cola Enterprises and launch online challenge to explore the problem, and generate and launch ideas to help improve recycling habits at home

· Improving recycling rates will help in enabling manufacturers to boost locally-available recycled PET and reduce their resource footprint

Press Release

LONDON, March 31, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has launched a recycling challenge to co-create solutions to help improve at-home recycling habits, in partnership with open innovation platform, The 11-week challenge will draw on the platform’s 60,000 members from across the globe as part of CCE’s Recycle for the Future campaign.

75%[2] of British and French people claim to ‘always’ recycle plastic bottles at home. However, recycling rates don’t reflect this with as only around half of all plastic bottles sold are currently collected for recycling in Great Britain and France[3].  CCE’s Recycle for the Future campaign aims to identify the reasons behind the gap between people’s intentions and actions, and seek meaningful solutions to increase at-home recycling rates.

Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE/Euronext Paris: CCE), which manufactures, bottles and markets Coca-Cola products in Western Europe, initially commissioned a study with the University of Exeter to better understand how household dynamics influence recycling behaviours.

The pioneering study, Unpacking the Household, led by Dr Stewart Barr, observed 20 families, couples and single-person households in Great Britain and France, in their own homes, for six months. Its key findings include:

·       Break a habit to make a habit - People don’t make conscious decisions about recycling. Instead people have instinctive behaviour built into their everyday lives, which doesn’t always include recycling, so new thinking is needed to help break bad habits - and shape new habits.

·       Aesthetics are key - The recycling infrastructure in households must be adjusted. Additional physical space is needed to make recycling a more viable activity, but aesthetics are a barrier, with few study participants willing to make room for a recycling bin.

·       Better information is required - The majority of households do not have an accurate understanding of what happens to their waste once it has been collected, with many not realising that their recycled items are returned to them as other products or packaging, e.g. shampoo bottles or t-shirts.

·       Common misconceptions continue to exist - Households are sceptical about what happens to their recycling once collected, with many believing it is all ‘sent to landfill’ or ‘exported abroad.’

·       Harnessing the power of community - Digital communication and social media could be put to greater use,  encouraging people to form new recycling habits.

The findings from the study are now being used as a basis for setting an online challenge to help come up with innovative, yet practical solutions to encourage people across Europe to recycle more.  This challenge is being executed through’s creative, global innovation community.

Joe Franses, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Director, Coca-Cola Enterprises, explained: “Recycling is something in which we all have a role to play, and as one of the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottlers we recognise we have a responsibility to address today’s social and environmental challenges.  While we can leverage our experience and expertise to educate and inspire consumers to recycle more often, we recognise we don’t have all the answers.  So, we are collaborating with other thought leaders, and the best creative minds in the global community, to help generate ideas that could deliver real change in at-home recycling habits.”

Nathan Waterhouse, Director of, said: “We believe in the power of the community and see collaboration as the key to successful innovation for good. The innovation platform, at its most impactful and passionate, empowers participants to inspire each other and build on each other’s ideas to find the answer.

“We hope that some of the ideas generated from this challenge will help to meet the recommendations that came out of the CCE study into recycling rates, by calling time on out-dated recycling habits and providing popular, straightforward solutions for households.”

The challenge will be open for anyone to take part in helping to address this important issue. You can sign up and take part by visiting or follow #recyclechallenge on Twitter for updates on the challenge.

In the first part of the challenge, everyone is invited to share their stories and insights, building up context around the challenge. Following this, the ideas phase begins, where people submit ideas and collaborate to develop and refine them further.

Once the challenge closes on June 17th 2014 and having been evaluated both by the community and an external advisory panel, who will also provide advice throughout the challenge, the ideas with the most potential for impact will be revealed.

The Expert Advisory Panel will include representatives from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, P&G, Forum for the Future, WRAP, FostPlus and Casino who will be looking for ideas which showcase original thinking, practical sense, and real applicability.

Dr Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP the UK’s leading body on recycling and resource efficiency, commented “The UK has made fantastic progress in recycling over the last ten years and now recycles four times as much which means we now recycle more than we send to landfill. This is great news for the environment and economy, but there’s still a lot more we can all do. The Recycling Challenge is a great way to stimulate debate, share expertise and encouraging creativity around recycling to create real change.”

To follow the study or find out more, please visit:

- ENDS -


Notes to Editor

About CCE

Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc. (CCE) is the leading Western European marketer, producer, and distributor of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages and one of the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottlers. CCE is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. We operate with a local focus and have 17 manufacturing sites across Europe, where we manufacture nearly 90 percent of our products in the markets in which they are consumed. Corporate responsibility and sustainability is core to our business, and we have been recognised by leading organizations in North America and Europe for our progress in water use reduction, carbon footprint reduction, and recycling initiatives. For more information about our company, please visit our website at and follow us on twitter at @cokecce.



Gemma Pryor/Dorothée De Montgolfier, European Media Relations

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[1] European average (61%) refers to PET bottles recycled in CCE territories, as calculated by CCE.  Any national rates are published rates .  Source data available on request from CCE. CCE European markets covering Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Great Britain.

[2] YouGov, February 2013

[3] European average (61%) refers to PET bottles recycled in CCE territories, as calculated by CCE.  Any national rates are published rates .  Source data available on request from CCE. CCE European markets covering Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Great Britain.