Tea Light Hunt encouraged Norwegians to recycle more

A new survey indicates that Norwegians have become better at recycling used tea light cups and other products made of aluminium as a result of the Tea Light Hunt campaign.

April 8, 2013

Last winter, more than 29,000 school children around the country gathered as many tea light cups as possible as part of the Tea Light Hunt – a competition to raise awareness about aluminium and recycling.

The contest, the second of its kind, ran from November 1, 2012, to January 31, 2013, under the aegis of WWF and IKEA, in cooperation with Grønt Punkt, Syklus and Hydro.

Encouraging results

"From a climate perspective, it is very important that aluminium products are recycled at the end of their use. When we recycle aluminium, we save 95 percent of the energy used in the production of primary aluminium. The Tea Light Hunt led to an increase in awareness and knowledge of an important environmental action," says the head of WWF in Norway, Nina Jensen.

A survey by Norstat of 250 children and 250 adults selected at random around the country shows that the campaign has produced good results. Not only have the children become more aware of recycling, but parents too have become better at recycling aluminium products.

The number of adults who say that they recycled tea light cups rose from 34 percent at the start of the campaign to 45 percent afterward.

Before the first Tea Light Hunt in October 2011, just 24 percent of Norwegian adults said that they recycled used tea light cups.

Winners to visit Hydro plant

On Friday, April 12, the winners of the latest Tea Light Hunt – a group of first- and second-graders from the community of Sveio in western Norway and fourth-graders from Aursmoen in eastern Norway – will visit Hydro's aluminium plant in Holmestrand. The first group won for collecting an average of 7,127 cups each, while the second group collected the greatest number overall – 80,353.

Plant manager Kjetil Ebbesberg says he is looking forward to the visit from the young environmental heroes.

"In Holmestrand, we produce about 90,000 metric tons of aluminium each year. Of this, about 3,000 tons go to tea lights. When the winners come here, we will show them how used tea lights can be recycled so they can be used in new products," he says.

"It is unbelievably inspiring to see the fantastic engagement of these children in the Tea Light Hunt. They can be proud that have changed their parents' attitudes," says Nina Schefte, head of sustainability at IKEA in Norway.

Updated: October 11, 2016