M&S joins with Leeds council to launch MetalMatters campaign

Leeds City Council has partnered with retailer Marks & Spencer to deliver a MetalMatters recycling campaign to 350,000 households – the largest single local authority campaign run by the programme.

M&S joins with Leeds council to launch MetalMatters campaign
L-R: Vincent Cummins; Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, both Leeds City Council; Rick Hindley, Alupro; Laura Fernandez, M&S
The MetalMatters campaign informs residents about the potential of metal recycling with the aim of increasing capture rates of metal packaging through council kerbside collections. It is funded by the metal packaging industry, including manufacturers, fillers and reprocessors and run by recycling trade body Alupro.

Over a 12-week period, Leeds City Council will mail each of its households informative material, with the message being emphasised through radio advertising, signage on recycling vehicles, a roadshow tour and a recycling competition for residents. Over 350 million items of waste metal packaging are currently used in the city each year.

“We are calling on local residents to make their metals matter and help increase Leeds’s recycling performance”, said Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Deputy Leader and Executive member for environment and sustainability. “Recycling metal is good for the environment by reducing CO2 emissions and helps reduce the costs of dealing with the city’s waste. Households in Leeds are recycling just under half of their everyday metal packaging like drinks cans, tins, aerosols and foil.

“Every can recycled saves enough energy to run a TV for four hours, so a small action like putting your empty bean tin into your green recycling bin can make a big difference.”

Through the partnership, M&S will contribute to the communications campaign, but will also create interactive recycling games and competitions for shoppers at its Moortown store in the north of the city. The store will also host members from the councils, who will talk to local residents about their recycling.

Laura Fernandez, Senior Packaging Technologist at M&S, commented: “We are working hard to make it as easy as possible for our customers to live more sustainably. The MetalMatters campaign has a had a really positive impact on raising awareness of the importance of recycling all metal packaging and has also helped boost overall recycling levels in other areas of the country – so we’re really looking forward to supporting the campaign in Leeds.”

First national retailer support

Commenting on the new campaign in Leeds, Rick Hindley, Executive Director of project managers Alupro, said: “The launch of the Leeds campaign is a fantastic start to 2017 for MetalMatters, not least because it marks the first time a national retailer has directly supported the campaign, and we are delighted to be working with M&S.

“The campaign provides a cost-effective and easy-to-implement solution for authorities, helping to deliver an improvement in metal packaging capture rates and a sustained positive impact for recycling long after the campaign has been delivered.”

The MetalMatters programme was created five years ago and has to date partnered with 74 local authorities to promote the recycling of metal packaging to over 4.5 million households across the UK.

According to the programme, participating councils record an average increase in metal packaging capture rates of 18 per cent. Last year, Warwick District Council announced that within six months of starting a communications campaign, metal packaging in its kerbside collection service had increased by 28 per cent.

Recycling Development Officer at Warwick District Council, Becky Davies, said: “We’ve been in the same position as a lot of local authorities, where we no longer have a budget for recycling promotions and no longer have a dedicated recycling team. The MetalMatters campaign has been a big success and has helped to increase the amount of metal recycling captured by 28 per cent and all dry recyclables by three per cent.”

More information about MetalMatters can be found on the campaign’s website.  

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