Hampshire County Council (HCC) were finding that tried-and-tested ways of improving recycling behaviours had stopped working.
We started by listening – through interviews, focus groups and desk research – and saw an opportunity to segment audiences more effectively. While the audience had previously been segmented on recycling behaviours alone, we based our new segmentation on the values that drive behaviours. We mapped audience groups on the Diffusion of Innovations curve, prioritising those with the greatest potential for behaviour change. We then used behavioural insights to create hypotheses for recyclers’ behaviour and to ensure our creative tactics were rooted in insights.
We created three sharply-targeted pilots, mapping concentrations of audiences to identify pilot locations. With robust measurement at the start, mid-point and final analysis, we were able to adapt quickly. We dialled up positive messaging, stopped underperforming tactics, adapted to reflect audience comments online and regularly tweaked approaches to maximise impact.
One pilot led to a decrease of 11% in recycling contamination, another saw plastic bottle recycling rise by 31% during the pilot, and 92% of those who saw another of the pilots said they’d change recycling behaviours as a result. We are now scaling what worked for long-term, sustained change and have won an award for our approach.