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Every Can Counts celebrates its partnership with Beach Guardian

One of the most beautiful locations in the UK, Cornwall is almost entirely surrounded by the Atlantic, a magnificent coastline of some 300 miles.  Boasting spectacular beaches and captivating fishing harbours, the surf provides a natural playground for locals and holidaymakers.  And amongst the Cornish cream teas and surfboards, we find Beach Guardian.

Beach Guardian connects people with the environment to improve health and wellbeing, through regular community beach cleans and educational workshops with schools and other groups.

Every Can Counts has been working in partnership with Beach Guardian for over a year, so what better time to pack jumpers, wellies and waterproofs and head south-west in order to get involved in their fabulous work first-hand.

Against a backdrop of seriously wet and wild weather, the founders of Beach Guardian took us on a tour of the coastline, so we could see for ourselves how local businesses have implemented Every Can Counts on their premises.  We got stuck into a beach clean and spoke to people who have a shared commitment to protect the environment.  It is fair to say that we were cold, whipped by the gale-force winds, soaked to the skin, and most importantly – truly inspired.

For Emily Stevenson, Beach Guardian is a passion.  With her bold statement of wearing a graduation gown made of Walkers crisp packets, Emily reaches out to the world to increase awareness of the need to protect our precious oceans.

We learn from Rob Stevenson, who co-founded the project with daughter Emily Stevenson, how small regular beach cleans blossomed into Beach Guardian.

Mother Ivey’s Bay is home to an award-winning holiday park and is one of the many sites Beach Guardian and Every Can Counts have worked with to support drink can recycling.  Guests, team members and sustainability are at the heart of this long-established business.  Owner Patrick explains how they got involved with Beach Guardian.

Every Can Counts has supported Beach Guardian by providing can collection bins and free-standing can crushers to sites across Cornwall, so people can recycle their drink cans more easily when they are out and about.  If you would like to find out more about how Every Can Counts can support businesses and organisations in your local area, please get in touch by emailing everycancounts@alupro.org.uk or call the team on 01527 597757.

Celebrating 10 Years of Every Can Counts

Every Can Counts is celebrating its 10th Birthday and a decade of continued growth and success!

In 2008 research by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) found that at least 30% of the drink cans sold in the UK were consumed ‘on the go’ or away from home. With that in mind, drink can makers and metal packaging recyclers decided to work together to develop a behaviour change programme that would encourage and make it easier for people to recycle drink cans when they are out of the home. And so it was that Every Can Counts was launched in 2009.

Fast forward ten years and the Every Can Counts programme has established itself as Europe’s leading out of home recycling behaviour change programme, inspiring people to recycle their drink cans wherever they are. The programme’s ambitious vision is for every drink can across Europe to be recycled. 

Rick Hindley, Executive Director of Alupro, said: “Every Can Counts has gone from strength to strength since its launch back in 2009. The programme has expanded across Europe to 16 countries, which is a testament to the strength of the brand and its clear messaging, enabling Every Can Counts to engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders.  Our commitment to innovation and further development of the programme is ensuring that Every Can Counts continues to lead the way towards higher recycling rates by driving consumer behaviour change.”

Every Can Counts works with a wide range of stakeholders to introduce and improve drink can recycling.  Programme partners include leading brands, businesses, universities and colleges, tourist attractions and festival and event organisers.  Since its launch, thousands of organisations have signed up to the programme and there are now more than 15,000 Every Can Counts branded recycling points around the UK. 

Over 20% of these recycling points donate the cans they collect to local community groups, which raise funds for charitable causes and run social activities using the money generated by the sale of drink cans.  Every Can Counts continues to support and promote these groups, highlighting the possibility for drink can recycling to provide social benefit to local communities in addition to the significant environmental benefits. 

In recent years, an increasingly significant part of the Every Can Counts UK programme has been its work with festivals and events where large volumes of cans are consumed.  In 2019, Every Can Counts partnered with more events than ever before delivering activations at 30 events including Download Festival, Latitude Festival, Boomtown Fair and the Tough Mudder endurance series. 

Every Can Counts is updating the look and feel of its brand ahead of 2020, with plans to utilise a wider range of communications channels and explore innovative new activation opportunities.  Bolstered by its largest-ever presence across Europe, Every Can Counts is gearing up for another exciting year of putting the fun in recycling and spreading the brand’s messages further than ever before.

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.”

Overgate centre takes a can do approach to recycling

The Overgate Centre is aiming to recycle all the drinks cans consumed within the centre, following the unveiling of over 60 can collection points throughout the shopping centre.

The scheme, which has been implemented by the free to use Every Can Counts recycling programme, will aim to encourage over 11 million shoppers who visit the shopping centre annually to recycle their drinks cans.

The move follows research from Every Can Counts, which found that 49 per cent of shoppers had never used their local shopping centre’s recycling facilities, with the availability and visibility of recycling points being cited as the main obstacle.

To help launch the scheme, Overgate Centre and Every Can Counts will have an awareness day activity on the 21st October within the shopping centre to help engage with the public and have a recycling competition with a chance to win shopping centre vouchers.

Malcolm Angus, Overgate Centre Manager, said: “We want to encourage recycling across the centre and with this latest initiative we’re hoping to encourage even more of our staff and shoppers to recycle rather than bin their drinks cans.

“By increasing the number of can recycling bins available to people and making them more visible with the Every Can Counts branding, we expect to recycle all the cans consumed on site.”

Chris Latham-Warde, Programme Manager from Every Can Counts, said: “Our research has shown that shopping centres are one of the top locations people consume canned drinks. When you consider that recycling just one can saves enough energy to power a TV for four hours and that Overgate Centre has over 11 million visitors annually, the potential savings are immense.

“We’re extremely pleased to be working with Overgate Centre to help ensure even more cans are recycled.”

All of the drinks cans collected will be processed and recycled by local employment support scheme Green 2 Go based in Perth.