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We’re asking the OpenIDEO community to help us find creative ways to encourage people to recycle at home.

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With the acceleration of climate change and increased pressure on our planet’s natural resources, the issue of environmental sustainability has never been more urgent. To help tackle the issue, we’re hoping to find new ways to encourage us all to improve our recycling at home, enhance our current recycling habits and create new recycling routines that are more sustainable.


When we recycle we conserve precious natural resources that are often in finite supply. Recycling allows used materials to be converted into new products without  any extra raw materials being used. It can also allow us to reuse materials again and again.

Many organisations – including governments, NGOs and companies – are contributing by making packaging 100% recyclable, by using renewable and recycled materials and by taking a look at the entire product lifecycle, from production to reuse. There’s a part in that cycle where we all have a role to play – and that’s when we decide what happens to the waste in our homes. How might we encourage ourselves and others to turn our good intentions into action? Can we find new ways to recycle more at home, enhance our current recycling habits and help complete that all-important closed loop cycle?

Setting the stage

Last year, CCE partnered with the University of Exeter  to conduct a study to explore the role that recycling plays in everyday life. Through in depth research and conversations with families in Great Britain and France, they uncovered a series of insights on how we behave at home. They found that:

  • Recycling is rarely a conscious decision: we just go about our busy daily lives and recycling may or may not feature in our routines
  • There are often tensions in the home between recycling champions and those who opt for the simplest route to disposing of waste – and aesthetics win out over environmental concerns
  • There is often confusion and scepticism among householders about recycling, which can often lead to apathy

In this challenge, we’re really interested in what motivates us to create new habits and how we might build communities of dedicated home-recyclers. We’re excited to learn from all of you – the habit-breakers and the change-makers. We’ve invited a group of experts who will give us feedback throughout the challenge and you might see some of them around on the platform. 


To help point our efforts in the right direction we’ve written up some Guiding Principles for this challenge.


Parlez Vous Francais?

In this challenge we’re excited to be prototyping better language inclusivity. Coca-Cola Enterprises operates in a number of French-speaking geographies and we want to create an inclusive environment  so folks there can participate more easily. Check out our brand new translation page for information about how to interact with a more global community and stay tuned for our further experiments in this space.


What will it mean to ‘win’ this challenge?

As with all OpenIDEO challenges, there are many reasons to participate and many things you’ll gain by participating in our Recycling Challenge – regardless of whether your idea gets shortlisted. That said, the winning ideas will represent submissions that best answer our central question, that excite and energise our communitya nd that address our  goals.

In particular we’re looking for ideas that will help create new habits at home, that can be scaled to work in different countries and with different people – and that work regardless of the local recovery and recycling scheme. As the challenge unfolds we’ll share more about these goals so you know where we’re headed.


No matter the end result, we encourage everyone to take your ideas forward on your own or to collaborate with your network to implement them. On OpenIDEO we strive to be a place where good ideas gain momentum – both from the community and from our sponsors and partners. For more information, visit our About Us or How It Works pages.


About our sponsor

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is a marketer, producer and distributor of non-alcoholic beverages in Western Europe. It operates with a local focus and manufactures nearly 90 percent of its products in the markets in which they are consumed. Corporate responsibility and sustainability are core to CCE’s business and it is constantly working to reduce water use, carbon footprints and support recycling initiatives. For more information, visit and follow @CokeCCE on Twitter.



  Meena Kadri


   Sarah Fathallah  


  Karoline K      



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