Talent from Trash

October 2, 2007 at 11:03 am

A new initiative, entitled Talent from Trash, hopes to give young people a sporting chance as well as an incentive to recycle. The scheme, which has financial support from Coca-Cola, asks youngsters to make a pledge to recycle more – the reward is cash assistance for youth development programmes at their local Football League Club. Thirteen clubs are participating in the scheme – you can check the site to see if you live near one of them.

Players, family and friends – in fact, anyone – can log on to the Talent from Trash website to make a pledge. This involves filling in your name and email address and promising to “recycle more aluminium, steel, glass, plastic, paper and cardboard products to help my Club raise money for youth development”. The promotion is running for just under three months – from 5th September to 28th November 2007.

The amount of money which can be raised for each club is capped at £18,000 – a pretty generous sum which should provide a welcome boost for football youth development. Everyone who pledges will also be entered in to a free prize draw, with one entry for each pledge. The prize is an extra £10,000 for the club and a personal reward of £5,000 – yet more incentive to crush some cans in the name of football!

Coca-Cola hopes that the initiative will capture youngsters’ imagination, and that the educational element of the website will encourage junior footballers and their families to make recycling a long-term goal. This section of the site provides tips on how and where to recycle.

Coca-Cola sees recycling as a key element of its environmental responsibility charter. The majority of Coca-Cola’s cans, bottles and cardboard packaging can be recycled, and the company is committed to a comprehensive recycling programme. However, the multinational has previously been criticised for failing to live up to its environmental promises. In 1999, the US organisation, Grassroots Recycling Network, claimed that the company has spent millions of dollars blocking legislation which would make it incumbent upon manufacturers to recycle beverage containers. And more recently, Coke’s green credentials have taken a knock with evidence that it has exacerbated fresh-water scarcity in some areas of operation. As such, this move is an attempt to salvage their reputation and improve their credentials as a green company.

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