As a permitted compliance scheme, ERP Ireland is required to fund awareness campaigns that promote recycling and encourage consumers to make a positive contribution to the environment by recycling their WEEE and waste batteries. Our strategic approach for all our communication campaigns is to ensure they are integrated, innovative and support our core objectives.
In 2017, together with the not for profit organisation, Barretstown, a camp for children with serious illnesses, ERP created the programme “Batteries for Barretstown” which aims to educate Ireland on the importance of battery recycling while raising vital funds for the childrens’ charity. To date, over 2.8 million people have been reached through social media interactions, attendance at the National Ploughing Championship and Bloom in the Park festivals and through print and radio interviews.
Barretstown’s CEO, Dee Ahearn said: “This campaign is a very exciting project for us and we are thrilled to be involved in helping to motivate people to become more environmentally aware and to change their battery recycling habits. The commitment to Powering Positivity at Barretstown, is enormously important to us in providing facilities for our campers and for their families, and we are very excited about the positive energy being generated by the campaign.”
In 2019, the campaign put a specific focus on the Christmas season. 30% of all batteries, equating to 33 million batteries, are purchased in the run up to the festive season in Ireland. With the “Green Christmas” video, telling the story of a sick little girl whose energy was as low as a dead battery, but through the power of positivity came back fully recharged from the camp at Barretstown, ERP’s video struck a chord. It was a strong emotional reminder of the importance of battery recycling and has reached over a quarter of a million of people on social media.
Commenting on the ERP and Barretstown Christmas story, Tim O’ Dea, Director of Development, Barretstown said: “This year, the ERP Batteries for Barretstown Christmas campaign tells the story of Ashleigh Kiernan, one of our former Barretstown campers. Ashleigh’s journey to recovery has not been easy but we are thrilled to have her take part in this project along with Benji Bennett, a very important Barretstown ambassador. We are excited about the positive energy being generated by this Christmas campaign, we hope it will help remind people to become more environmentally aware and to change their battery recycling habits.”
In June 2019, ERP Ireland worked together with Body & Soul, Ireland’s leading creative festival. American junk artist, Shrine, and Australian eco-builder, Harrison Gardner, co-created SOLAS, a large-scale, illuminated tetrahedron from salvaged and recycled electronic materials, collected by ERP Ireland.
The statue served as a call to action for Irish people to recycle their small, unused electronic items such as mobile phones, tablets, etc. The “hoarding” of these electronic devices is a behavioral tendency amongst many people and the Irish are no exception as findings by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggest. While technological innovation results in consumers constantly replacing working electronic devices with more attractive, efficient or more advanced alternatives, this does not lead to increased recycling of these items. The participants of the study, conducted in 2018, explained that they are either unsure of how to dispose of these unused or broken items or they decided to store them due to emotional reasons or the belief that they could become useful again. In their mission to raise awareness of this important topic, ERP Ireland received broad support from national television and newspapers.
Shrine, said: “I am delighted to have been able to work on this installation – SOLAS – for ERP Ireland and Body & Soul. I have worked on projects in countless countries on nearly all seven continents but a project with an important message such as this, always stands out to me. I cherish creating art from items discarded by humans all over the world, these can always be repurposed into something new and beautiful.”
Across the year, ERP Ireland’s campaigns have received nationwide attention and succeeded in reaching over 1 million people through social and traditional media channels. In October 2019, ERP Ireland’s efforts were recognised when they won the Excellence in CSR Communication Award at the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards 2019 and, together with Barretstown, ERP Ireland was also shortlisted for Battery Recycling Champion at the Pakman Awards 2019.
Martin Tobin, CEO, ERP Ireland said: “2019 has been a very successful year for our scheme. We launched several communications programmes to drive behavioral change and promote the message of responsible WEEE and Battery recycling through community recycling initiatives. ERP Ireland won and was shortlisted for several awards during the year. I am very proud of these achievements and would like to commend my team on these fantastic results.”