Make Sustainability Easy!
I’ve just popped over to my local Morrison’s to grab some ingredients for dinner. I’ve recently started collecting soft plastics for recycling at supermarkets as they aren’t collected at the kerbside here yet. So I checked online what materials Morrison’s accept, did a quick filter of verboten materials from my collection and packed the rest into a shopping bag and headed off.
The recycling container wasn’t obvious when I arrived so I asked the security guard. He didn’t know and directed me to customer services. The lady there said “If we still have one, it’ll be down at the bottom foyer. It’s been closed off, so you might have to pull the inner sliding doors open.” She mimed the movement I would have to make to prise them apart.
So I walked the length of the store, dodged past a garden bench that had been positioned to put people off using that exit, through the sliding doors (which did open for me). Facing me was a large bin marked ‘hygiene’ and a yellow Amazon collection point and then, just when I thought I was was out of luck, I spotted a small container tucked in a corner marked ‘recycle point’.
Now, it gives me great satisfaction for me to recycle more of my waste. However, the average Morrison’s store gets 24,400 customers a week. That’s a huge opportunity to get a lot more people recycling more. But those people would have to know that they can recycle plastics, what they can recycle and, most importantly, where the bloody recycling bin is!
Nobody will stumble on a bin hidden in a corner of a closed foyer by chance. Few will make the effort to go online beforehand and check that their journey isn’t going to be for nothing. And even if they do, staff should know exactly where it is – they were all very nice and helpful but nobody had told them the info they needed to send me in the right direction. And finally, if by some miracle even 1% of customers jumped through all these hoops and used the container, it would be overflowing daily.
If Morrison’s was serious about making recycling normal, suitably sized containers should be near the main entrance and well signposted. Staff should know how it works so they can advise customers. Morrison’s have made a classic mistake – install a system which is almost designed to fail and then pat yourself on the back for providing it. If we want to make Sustainability normal, we have to make it really easy to use.