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Coke’s Arcade Game Makes Recycling Fun

Nowadays, we are all aware of our responsibilities when it comes to recycling. However, despite environmental issues being a focus for many across the globe, with national targets and constantly evolving legislation governing the way in which we approach waste disposal, it is often still an effort to get people to choose recycling over convenience.

From separating out different recyclable materials to correctly disposing of electrical (WEEE) products, sometimes ensuring that we stay green can seem a bit of a chore.

With big multinationals coming under a lot of pressure recently (e.g. Apple) from government-backed organisations, forcing them to be more culpable for the amount of waste ending up in landfill as a result of their activities, many are coming up with new and inventive ways in which to combat the issue.

Coca Cola’s ‘Happiness Arcade’

Global soft drinks giant Coca Cola are the latest company to get on board with finding an interesting way to encourage recycling. Teaming up with creative agency Grey Dhaka, Coke has taken a look at the number of its plastic bottles that end up in landfill around the world and come up with an inventive way of reducing this figure.

First introduced in Bangladesh back in April, the ‘Happiness Arcade’ was wheeled out and placed in six different locations in six days around the capital Dhaka. Working on the very basic principle that more people will be inclined to recycle if it is fun, the machines are activated by empty plastic Coke bottles.

By inserting a bottle into the slot, the recycler will be treated to a version of the classic arcade game Pong that can be played with a friend. The simplistic novelty of the game doesn’t seem to have waned since its 1970s heyday, attracting large crowds around each machine and helping to collect thousands of plastic bottles over the course of the week – a success in a city of over 15 million people.

Despite being hailed as a successful venture, with each bottle taken away and turned into plastic pellets for reuse in industry, many have noted similarities between the ‘Happiness Arcade’ and Volkswagen’s ‘Bottle Bank Arcade’ from a few years ago. This idea operated on very similar principles, offering players points for various bottle types they recycle.

Plastic Bottle Waste

Regardless of whether the concept is entirely original or not, it is an effective means to an end when it comes to encouraging responsible waste disposal.

On the other hand, while Coca Cola’s idea is novel enough to attract attention, some would suggest that the ‘Happiness Arcade’ is nothing more than a marketing stunt that will make very little difference to the overall number of plastic Coke bottles being disposed of incorrectly worldwide.

In the UK alone, 15 million bottles are produced every day (using around 275,000 tonnes of plastic), and most families will dispose of around 40kg of them per year without recycling. Despite continent-wide regulations, plastic increase is still on the rise (4% annually in Western Europe) and, although the intention is probably good, ideas such as the ‘Happiness Arcade’ are of little use in the global fight for improved green practices.

Written by Woodford Recycling, one of the leading providers of skip hire, waste disposal and recycling services in the South East.

Our recycling centre is fully equipped to process over 85% of all waste we collect, including all plastic bottles, ensuring that your rubbish is disposed of in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.

Get in touch today for more information.


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