Behavior Change
New Toolkit Uses Normative Messaging to Encourage UK Citizens to ‘Recycle Now’

Recycle Now, a WRAP campaign that helps people in the UK recycle more things, more often, has launched a new communications toolkit for local authorities and partners, introducing a social norming messaging style designed to motivate citizen behavior change to improve recycling.

The toolkit’s refreshed messaging approach is based on research findings showing that normative messaging has significant potential to increase recycling when incorporated into recycling communications. The adoption of this proven technique marks a step forward in UK recycling communications.

Included in the toolkit is a host of adaptable campaign assets which have been designed for partners to roll out during Recycle Week (September 24th to 30th), including information on a localized Recycle Now logo for partners to use in the future. The assets bring the normative approach to life in an engaging way using naturalistic photography and motivating language.

“The new campaign toolkit brings about a step-change in the way we communicate with citizens. The norming approach is proven to make a difference, and offers a real opportunity to influence recycling behaviors,” said Craig Stephens, Recycle Now’s campaign manager.

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“With a complementary new strategy, guidelines and a suite of campaign assets, partners have everything they need for effective recycling communications, all in one place. We can’t wait to see the new look and messaging go live across the country during Recycle Week.”

In the wake of Blue Planet II’s incredible impact, Recycle Week 2018 will focus around ‘the year we woke up to our environment’ and why recycling matters.

Normative messages work by shifting perceptions of social norms, the un-written rules that shape a lot of human behavior. They will provide a positive nudge to improve recycling behavior. This approach has been shown to increase environmentally friendly behavior on a whole range of issues including energy saving and food choices, as well as recycling.

These techniques have been extensively tested in studies by academics and in recent research conducted by Recycle Now in England and Wales. The toolkit will make adding normative messages to business and local authority recycling communications quick and easy with ready-to-go messaging for a whole range of different communications tasks.


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