Preserving the Environment

Coca-Cola Shows There’s Nothing Like a Fun Incentive to Encourage Recycling

May 9, 2014
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Coca-Cola Shows There’s Nothing Like a Fun Incentive to Encourage Recycling
Coke-Cola placed arcade games around Bangladesh to encourage recycling. Screengrab via YouTube
Who says that arcade games can't lead to social good?

Most of us here in America are familiar with recycling and believe it’s the right thing to do. But in some places around the world, there’s no concept of the earth-friendly action whatsoever. And whether this is due to an absence of recycling equipment, a lack of efficient government regulation, or even lower education, the end result is the same: Our planet and the environment suffers.

Take the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, for example: Its population of 15 million has no concern about recycling at all. So how does one educate an entire urban community about the importance of recycling?

Global soda giant Coca-Cola decided to take a page from the old parenting handbook of tricking kids into doing otherwise boring chores by turning it into a game. As Fast Company notes, Coke created a Pong-like arcade game where it only accepts empty bottles instead of coins.

MORE: Can I Recycle This? 5 Things You Should Always Recycle (and 5 Things You Shouldn’t)

You’ll see in the video below that the game was met with wild success. The machine, called the Coca-Cola Happiness Arcade, traveled to six different locations in six days and collected thousands of bottles that will be turned into plastic pellets for re-use.

Grey Dhaka, the ad agency behind the campaign, acknowledged that their Happiness Arcade will be “difficult to value in real ROR (return on recycling!) terms,” but it was more about “awareness raising.”

Granted, this concept isn’t practical on a global scale (and just think of the crazy long lines!), but we think that creative innovations like these surely help to educate the world about our impact on the planet and encourages us all to live more sustainably.

[ph]

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