BLE 2023 | Wastebuster to showcase Recycle to Read at POC Green Innovation booth

BLE 2023 | Wastebuster to showcase Recycle to Read at POC Green Innovation booth

The not-for-profit environmental education platform, Wastebuster will be joining the Products of Change team to showcase its Recycle to Read initiative at Brand Licensing Europe next week, highlighting a first-of-its-kind partnership between industry and retail to turn broken plastic toys into reading materials for under-funded schools across Sussex.

Earlier this month, Recycle to Read was named ‘Innovation of the Week’ by Retail Week for its launch in 19 Tesco stores across Sussex and its mission to encourage kids and families to rehome unwanted toys and recycle their unwanted broken plastic toys by dropping them at collection points within the area.

The initiative has been launched as a testbed towards developing a circular economy for toys by rewarding participating members of the public with points they can collect for local schools. These Planet Care Points can be ‘donated’ to any participating school within the area, putting them in the running to receive a bundle of reading material funded by HarperCollins and the children’s publishing sector.

The system takes a multi-faceted approach to driving and encouraging positive environmental behaviours among families. First, they are encouraged to rehome unwanted toys through charitable giving, keeping good quality toys in the value stream and out of the waste stream. Families can log their ‘rehoming’ activity via the Recycle to Read website to earn Planet Care Points. Second, they are encouraged to deposit broken, plastic toys in collection bins situated in the 19 participating Tesco stores within the Sussex area. Again, this activity can be logged to earn them points to be donated to local schools.

The highest-scoring schools are then entered into a draw to receive a reading materials bundle funded and provided by the children’s publisher, HarperCollins. In a showcase of cross-sector collaboration, these collection points have been sponsored by Hasbro.

Wastebuster is encouraging the international brand licensing and toy industries to support the programme.

“One in eight schools don’t have a school library, which is an issue that needs tackling,” said Katy Newnham, founder of Wastebuster. “Companies supporting the programme have an opportunity to demonstrate their support as part of the ESG commitment to over 28,000 in 94 countries – that’s over 5 million children, young people, and their families – within Wastebuster’s global schools environmental education network.”

Wastebuster will be at the Products of Change booth, D120 for the duration of Brand Licensing Europe running from October 4 to 6 at London’s ExCeL. The Wastebuster team will be hosting a special roundtable event running from 1pm to 2pm on Thursday, October 5 to talk more in-depth about the campaign with interested businesses.

“Come to the stand to find out how your organisation can be part of informing or inspiring and empowering a whole generation and discover how toys can be a powerful force for good,” said Katy. “The Recycle to Read team will be hosting a roundtable talk at 1pm on stand D120 to present the programme as well as the wide range of benefits of becoming a member of the Wastebuster platform.

“We will also be discussing plans for the inaugural Big Toy Swap 2024 that will engage the global school network in toy rehoming.”

In the lead up to the big showcase at Brand Licensing Europe, the Wastebuster team will also be hosting a special webinar this Thursday, 28th September to help interested parties from across the toy and licensing community learn more about the initiative.

Those interested in learning more can register for the webinar here.

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