Small Can, Big Picture: Our 2023 in Review

Small Can, Big Picture: Our 2023 in Review 2560 1707 Phoebe Kelly

We spread the Every Can Counts message far and wide in 2023, from art installations in city centres to activations at some of the UK’s biggest festivals and sports events.

It’s all part of our mission to inspire, encourage and empower people to recycle their empty cans – wherever they are.

Here’s an in-depth look at how we translated that mission into actions in 2023…

Our Installations & Exhibitions

The Infinity Room Goes on Tour

We started 2023 with a bang in January by exhibiting the #EveryCanCounts ‘Infinity Room’ at Dundee Science Centre.

Our immersive Infinity Room installation is shaped like a giant drink can and made using 1,500 smaller cans. The interior contains 25 square metres of mirrors and creates the illusion of a never-ending sea of aluminum cans, bringing to life the infinite potential of aluminium recycling. As you step inside, a narrator takes you on an educational journey highlighting the importance of recycling drink cans and the positive impact this small action can have on the planet.

The installation spent the summer at Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes, before moving to W5 Interactive Discovery Centre in Belfast ahead of National Recycle Week in October.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow in York

In celebration of Global Recycling Day (Saturday 18th March), we brought our iconic rainbow archway – made from over 2,500 recycled cans – to York city centre! The seven-metre-wide archway spent a week on display in Exhibition Square, in front of York Art Gallery, brightly highlighting the importance of popping empty cans into the right bin.

Read more about the Rainbow’s exhibition in York here!

The CANvas in Covent Garden

To celebrate Earth Day, we teamed up with Covent Garden and renowned street artist Jimmy C to create a unique art installation made from over 700 repurposed drink cans; the #EveryCanCounts CANvas.

Jimmy C drew in the crowds as he painted the wall of cans live in Covent Garden’s North Piazza, creating an Earth-themed artwork that inspired passers-by to do their bit for the planet.

The artist then returned a week later to create a second design on a new CANvas of recycled cans. This time the artwork featured a crown, to mark the upcoming coronation of King Charles III. This coronation-themed CANvas remained in Covent Garden for five weeks, becoming a popular photo opportunity for the many visitors to this busy London district.

A PixelCan Wall of Art for World Environment Day

To celebrate World Environment Day, we participated in the International Recycling Tour – an annual Every Can Counts event spanning 20 cities in 16 countries.

The International Recycling Tour is an opportunity for all the Every Can Counts programmes around the world to come together with a coordinated campaign. The mission is simple: inspiring people to recycle their empty drink cans and keep public spaces clean.

In the UK, we kicked things off in style with an eye-catching display at the Mighty Hoopla Festival in Brockwell Park. 2,000 recycled drink cans were transformed into a stunning, nature-inspired PixelCan wall of art, while a team of ECC ambassadors roamed the site collecting cans and engaging with festival goers.

Read more about the 2023 instalment of the International Recycling Tour here.

Our Summer at Events and Festivals

Each year our recycling ambassadors hit the road to spread the Every Can Counts message at festivals and events – and 2023 was no exception! Our team headed to 12 major events across the UK this summer, from the thrills of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix to the rock anthems of Download Festival in Donington Park.

We pulled out all the stops to engage attendees with our fun and educational activities. And with our recycling backpacks, can cages, and voting bins, we helped keep the party going while keeping the planet happy!

Our Every Can Counts Soapbox, which participated in the 2022 Red Bull Soapbox Race in London, proved to be a star of the show. Revamped for 2023 with an electric motor and a new body made from recycled aluminium, our soapbox continued to turn heads wherever it went.

And a special shout out to our drink brand partners – Pernod Ricard UK, Red Bull, Most Wanted Wines, White Claw Hard Seltzer, and Canned Wine Co – who joined forces with us to spread the Every Can Counts message at several festivals and events throughout the summer.  

If you’d like to learn more about our summer of recycling fun, click here to read our dedicated blog post!

Our 2023 Green Can Award Winners

A massive congratulations to Bodega 51 Can Bar and Haileybury School who each received a Green Can Award in 2023, in recognition of their sustainability efforts and ongoing commitment to recycling drink cans.

Students at Haileybury School were rewarded with a workshop led by social enterprise, Casting Innovations. During this workshop they learned about the infinite recyclability of aluminium, as well as the melting process, and were able to make their own keyring from recycled aluminium.  

Think you’ve got what it takes to be a Green Can Award winner? Apply on our website today!   

Or if you’re looking for some inspiration to start your own recycling scheme, click here to read about some of the incredible initiatives who are using drink can recycling to raise funds for charitable causes.

2024 here we come!

We’re now cooking up a storm of exciting plans for the year ahead and working on brand new installations and activities to take our message further than ever before! Get ready to be inspired as we take the next steps on our journey towards a 100% recycling rate for drink cans.

Make sure to follow us on social media for updates on our latest activities as the year unfolds!

A Greener Festival Season With Every Can Counts: Highlights From Our Summer

A Greener Festival Season With Every Can Counts: Highlights From Our Summer 2560 1707 Phoebe Kelly

Phew – it’s been a busy summer here at Every Can Counts as we helped to create a greener festival season!

We’ve had a presence at 12 major events (with a total attendance of 1,445,000) and festivals since June, bringing along our inspirational messages and plenty of recycling fun! From immersive installations to games and quizzes, our activities have been encouraging positive behaviour change and raising awareness about the benefits of recycling drink cans.

And we couldn’t have done it without our passionate team of recycling ambassadors! A total of 42 ambassadors helped us to put the fun into recycling this summer by donning their can-recycling backpacks and engaging people with our activities. Our team worked tirelessly over the summer to spread the Every Can Counts message; with over 5,000 people taking part in our recycling quiz and thousands more engaged in our other recycling-themed activities. 

So, what was our aim at these events?

  1. To encourage everyone at the festival to recycle their empty drink cans.
  2. To make drink can recycling fun and accessible.
  3. To inspire more people to recycle on-the-go.
  4. To raise awareness of the many benefits of recycling drink cans.
  5. To empower and reassure people with knowledge about the simplicity and speed of the drink can recycling process.

Read on to see how we brought these ambitions to life this summer!

Celebrating the International Recycling Tour at Mighty Hoopla

We kicked off our summer at Mighty Hoopla in Brockwell Park, where we participated in the third edition of the #EveryCanCounts International Recycling Tour.

How did we help create a greener festival?

  • Our recycling ambassadors: Eight of our dedicated recycling ambassadors roamed the festival with their iconic backpacks collecting empty cans and spreading the message that ‘aluminium recycles forever’.
  • A nature-inspired installation at Mighty Hoopla: made up of 2,000 drink cans, the PixelCan artwork featured tiger eyes designed to have a ‘watching effect’ over festival goers, encouraging them to do the right thing and recycle their empty cans.

Read more about this year’s International Recycling Tour event here.  

Celebrating 20 Years of Download Festival

The 20th anniversary of Download Festival was an extraordinary celebration, and we were there to make it even more special. With the head-turning #EveryCanCounts soapbox, our team roamed around Donnington Park collecting cans and engaging festival goers everywhere they went. Over 40,000 cans were recycled through Every Can Counts’ activities at the events, with thousands upon thousands more being recycled across the whole of the site.

How did we spread the recycling message?

  • Our recycling ambassadors roamed around Download Festival chatting to festival goers and getting them excited about drink can recycling!
  • Our recycling survey and prize draw helped to ignite excitement while giving attendees the opportunity to learn something new about drink can recycling.  Over 2,400 people completed the survey and entered our prize draw for tickets to next year’s festival!
  • Festival goers had the chance to exchange a bag of empty drink cans for recycling rewards, including ‘Metal Never Dies’ t-shirts and recycled aluminium keyrings commemorating the festival’s 20th anniversary.
  • We brought our iconic voting bins and brand new DOWNLOAD can cages to the festival which prompted anyone who passed through the Campsite Village to do the right thing with their empty cans!
  • After its crash at last year’s Red Bull Soapbox Race in London, our iconic soapbox received a rather impressive makeover. Now equipped with an electric motor, it grabbed the attention at Download Festival as our ambassadors drove it around Donington Park, captivating the crowd and spreading the message of sustainability while having fun.
  • We created a PixelCan display of the iconic Download Dog, made from 2,000 recycled drink cans. The art installation was on display for the duration of the festival and proved to be a popular photo opportunity with attendees.
  • On the final day of the festival our team held a recycling quiz which taught those participating about the wonders of can recycling. The winner’s prize was a one-of-a-kind Download 20th anniversary commemorative plaque, made from recycled aluminium.

Return to Silverstone

We had a blast revving up the recycling game at the British Grand Prix for Formula 1 and MotoGP at Silverstone. Who knew that recycling could become a competitive sport too? Our voting bins and our recycling quiz certainly proved it could!

Formula 1 British Grand Prix

  • Our Silverstone can cages were on display, ready for F1 fans to recycle their drink cans and snap a photo beside.
  • We brought out our voting bins to encourage some healthy competition between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen fans, all in the name of drink can recycling.
  • Our iconic aluminium Soapbox made an appearance too, creating a buzz around our pitch and helping to engage F1 fans in conversations about aluminium recycling.
  • Our recycling ambassadors roamed the entirety of Silverstone Circuit chatting to fans about all things related to can recycling – and F1 too!

MotoGP British Grand Prix

  • Our team of ambassadors were back roaming the circuit in August during the MotoGP race weekend. With their iconic backpacks, our team brought the recycling bin to MotoGP fans and reminded them about the importance of drink can recycling.
  • Our ambassadors also put MotoGP fans to the test with our recycling quiz, resulting in some great conversations and leaving people with nuggets of drink can recycling knowledge to take away with them after the event.

Stendhal Festival

In July we returned to Stendhal Festival in Limavady, Northern Ireland. Our recycling ambassadors roamed the festival, equipped with their recycling backpacks and recycling quizzes. We also brought our iconic ‘I Heart Recycling’ can cages to the festival to inspire everyone to recycle their empty cans. These quirky recycling bins never fail to fill up quickly at festivals, thanks to their eye-catching shapes and colourful designs!

Working in Partnership with Drink Brands

We’ve had a busy summer working with our brand partners to spread the recycling message even further and increase recycling rates at festivals and events.

Pernod Ricard UK

Back in May, we announced our new partnership with Pernod Ricard UK. Throughout the summer we’ve teamed up with two of their drink brands, Absolut UK and Malibu UK, to raise awareness about the importance of can recycling and encourage everyone at the events we attended to recycle their empty cans.

Events with Absolut UK
  • Mighty Hoopla: Alongside our International Recycling Tour, our team worked with Absolut to collect cans and spread the recycling message by dancing, singing and generally getting into the fabulous spirit of Mighty Hoopla!
  • Brighton Pride: Our recycling ambassadors marched proudly alongside the Pride Parade in Brighton and continued to take their enthusiasm for drink can recycling into Fabuloso In The Park!
Events with Malibu UK
  • Elrow Town, London: Despite the rain, our ambassadors had a blast at Elrow Town and managed to engage the crowds with their usual charm and passion for drink can recycling.
  • We Are FSTVL: Our team donned their backpacks for one last time this summer at We Are FSTVL – and thankfully the weather was on their side this time! The team roamed the festival site spreading the Every Can Counts message with their co-branded Malibu recycling backpacks.

Red Bull

Our long-standing partners at Red Bull have been working with us to ensure attendees at their brand events can easily recycle their empty cans. As well as providing Every Can Counts bins for use at Red Bull events, we also sent a couple of our can cages up to Edinburgh for Red Bull Contested in June – ensuring both gamers and fans knew exactly what to do with their empty cans!

British Summer Time Festival with Most Wanted Wines

Our ambassadors attended BST Hyde Park in partnership with our new brand partners Most Wanted Wines. Our team really made every can count at the festival, and all the Most Wanted cans we collected have been saved for an upcoming art installation… Watch this space!

All Points East with White Claw

We sent one of our iconic can cages to London’s All Points East festival in partnership with White Claw Hard Seltzer. Our can cage helped to brighten up everyone’s bank holiday weekend and ensure that festival-goers could recycle their cans in Victoria Park.

Big Feastival with Canned Wine Co.

To round off our summer season, we had a presence at Big Feastival in partnership with Canned Wine Company. After enjoying a delicious can of wine, festival-goers were able to recycle their empty cans into one of our can recycling backpacks or our green ‘Recycling Swoosh’ can cage!

How Can You Get Involved?

If you came across the Every Can Counts team out and about this summer and are now feeling inspired to make a difference, here’s a reminder of a few things you can do to make your empty cans count:

  1. Recycle your drink cans while you’re out and about. If there is no recycling bin around, hold on to your cans until you find one, or take them home and recycle them there.
  2. If you’re camping or picnicking in the great outdoors, bring some bags with you so you can separate your recycling from your general waste.  
  3. If you work or volunteer at an organisation with no drink can recycling facilities in place, we can help you do something about it! Set up a can collection point by requesting a free Every Can Counts starter pack here.
  4. Help us spread the Every Can Counts message! Remember that aluminium recycles forever, and drink cans have the potential to go around the recycling loop in just 60 days. Help us get the word out there to those who don’t know and encourage everyone to recycle their cans on-the-go!

Together we can create a greener festival and event environment and continue to make progress on our journey towards a 100% drink can recycling rate. We’ll see you next summer for another season of good music, sunshine, and recycling fun – and until then, remember to make your cans count!

Recycling In Style For World Environment Day At Mighty Hoopla

Recycling In Style For World Environment Day At Mighty Hoopla 2560 1707 Phoebe Kelly

To mark World Environment Day on the 5th June, we attended Mighty Hoopla festival as part of the third #EveryCanCounts International Recycling Tour!

What is the International Recycling Tour?

The International Recycling Tour is an awareness campaign which aims to mark World Environment Day and champion sustainable living, whilst encouraging people to keep outdoor public spaces clean and to recycle their empty drink cans wherever they go.

This year’s initiative took place simultaneously in 16 countries including Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.  

The theme for 2023 revolved around each participating country designing and displaying a PixelCan installation in a public space to encourage everyone to do the right thing and recycle their drink cans!

Click here to learn more about the International Recycling Tour.

Iconic Recycling at Mighty Hoopla Festival

As part of the International Recycling tour in the UK, we unveiled a nature-inspired installation at pop music festival, Mighty Hoopla, in London’s Brockwell Park.

Made up of 2,000 drink cans, the PixelCan artwork featured tiger eyes designed to have a ‘watching effect’ over festival goers to encourage them to do the right thing and recycle their drink cans.

In addition to the PixelCan artwork, eight of Every Can Counts’ dedicated ambassadors also helped to raise awareness of the importance of recycling by spreading the ‘aluminium recycles forever’ message.

We never knew that there were so many different ways to recycle your drink can – from voguing to death drops, the possibilities were endless… much like the infinite recyclability of aluminium!

What we Had to Say About the International Recycling Tour!

Chris Latham-Warde, Programme Manager for Every Can Counts UK and Ireland, said: “From the banks of the Danube in Vienna and Budapest to Brixton in London, this year’s International Recycling Tour will see our signature PixelCan innovation pop up in iconic locations across the world. Not only will the pixelated mural captivate viewers from a distance, but it will also act as a symbol of the infinite possibilities of aluminium recycling, which is the message we’re trying to spread across the UK and beyond this World Environment Day.”

David Van Heuverswyn, Director of Every Can Counts Europe, added: “By coming together to celebrate World Environment Day and embracing the endless potential of aluminium recycling, we aim to inspire behaviour change and help reach 100% can recycling in Europe and beyond. That’s why we are inviting everyone — consumers, local authorities, brands, and event organisers — to join forces and find better ways to recycle on-the-go, while having fun doing so.”