Duracell unveils results of Big Battery Hunt

Written by: Editoral staff | Published:

Battery producer Duracell has announced initial results from its industry initiative, the Big Battery Hunt, which aims to identify new ways of encouraging consumers to recycle.

The scheme includes a pilot experiment with 10,000 children where the first 30 schools taking part in the initiative are reported to have recycled over 63,000 batteries.

According to Duracell, the UK has one of the lowest battery recycling rates in the EU. Figures from Recycle More are said to reveal that the UK throws away over 600 million batteries, resulting in over 20,000 tonnes of batteries ending up in landfill sites in the UK each year.

"This means typical “merits of recycling” messages are not motivation enough when it comes to turning consumer’s environmental concern into battery recycling action," said Christina Turner, associate marketing director at Duracell UK. "Not only that, but rather than the ‘auto-pilot’ recycling of glass, paper and plastic, batteries require that extra step of having to be taken somewhere in order to be recycled, which makes it seem more inconvenient and less habitual. To address this challenge, Duracell therefore needed to go beyond a simple recycling awareness scheme and instead take a step back and look at changing consumer attitudes towards battery waste."

In order to understand how to best encourage people to recycle, Turner said Duracell set out to test a number of different elements such as the types of incentives that would be the strongest drivers of consumer action; would many small, sticker-based, rewards or fewer, higher-value, prizes prove the most effective way to motivate many; and, how location impacts engagement in schools and supermarkets? While other elements such as charting progress, creating ownership through personalisation and creating a moment in time in order to create a seasonal habit, Easter, were all varying factors.

"Lastly, and most importantly, the experiment looked at ways to make recycling fun. This meant the design of the materials, including the bespoke Battery Hunt collection box, and the format of the initiative itself, a fun Easter style hunt, were key consideration for the experiment," added the associate marketing director.

To activate this initiative, Duracell partnered with the National School Partnership (NSP) and Tesco. Alongside running assembles and science classes around battery waste, created by the NSP, participating schools set children and their families the Big Battery Hunt as their Easter homework challenge. Alongside this, the Duracell Bunny himself visited five Tesco stores across the country to issue Duracell Big Battery Hunt packs in-store.

Since the Easter holidays, 30 schools have submitted their results, with the remaining 20 still being counted and varified. "Although early days, to date, an impressive 63,710 batteries have been returned," revealed Turner.

Examples of increased battery recycling include:

  • A school in County Durham (where four classes where involved) collected over 11,000
  • Schools in Cheshire and Hampshire collected over 7,000
  • A girl in Milton Keynes collected over 600 single-handedly as a result of putting posters up around her village
  • And one girl in Leicestershire recruited her local police force in order to help her collect over 300

Turner stated: "The results have already surpassed expectations, the average amount of batteries collected per school is almost 3,000 compared to only five at non-participating schools. Our hope is that by furthering our understanding of what motivates behavioural change in this space through the results of this experiment, we can then launch a nationwide initiative next year."

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