Introducing our annual Student Awards
Centred on a collection of live creative briefs


Create a campaign to inspire and motivate university students to recycle.


WRAP’s vision is a world in which resources are used sustainably. Our mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable resource-efficient economy through re-inventing how we design, produce and sell products; re-thinking how we use and consume products, and re-defining what is possible through re-use and recycling. 

We work with hundreds of businesses and local authorities, trade associations and charities to deliver change. 

Our influence is driven by evidence, insights and skills. We have a track record of publishing ground-breaking market research and evidence to understand the market failures and other barriers that prevent the sustainable use of resources. 

In 2004 WRAP launched its national recycling campaign, ‘Recycle Now’. Supported and funded by Government and adopted locally by local authorities and other partners, the campaign aims to encourage consumers to recycle more things more often from all around the home. 

Whilst recycling rates are on the increase in Wales, they have been static for the last couple of years in the UK. A survey delivered by SITA UK (2013) revealed that university students are particularly still lagging behind, with them being half as likely to be committed recyclers as the rest of the nation’s population. 

WRAP’s three R’s Tracker Survey also identified young adults aged 18-25 as the most unconfident and confused recyclers out of all the age groups. 

The main reasons identified for low recycling participation among students include: 

• Students are a transient population and often are only resident for part of a year. As such they can miss marketing materials and information around kerbside recycling timetables and instructions. 

• Lack of awareness about the recycling systems on campus and in accommodation. Particularly as many students are new to the area and/or may not have had any recycling responsibilities when they lived at home with their parents. 

• Feedback from resident surveys suggest that students living in privately rented houses did not know when to recycle or what to put out for recycling. 

• Lack of responsibility and ownership in student households. 

• There is not always room for recycling boxes in student housing and halls of residents. 

• Students often perceive recycling an inconvenience. 

• Recycling is not high on the agenda for many. 

The Creative Challenge 

With over 120 universities in the UK, students account for around 7% of the entire adult population. The UK also boasts the largest city student population anywhere in Europe - in Cardiff for example over 20% of the population are students. 

University students therefore represent a significant proportion of the adult population in the UK, and with the average student creating around 1.5 tonnes of waste during a three-year degree course, there is enormous potential to boost recycling rates in the UK by encouraging more students to recycle. 

As a result, we would like your help to conserve more of our precious natural resources, save significant amounts of energy, and reduce the amount of waste that gets taken to landfill sites, whilst creating a generation of more resource conscious young adults. 

Your brief is to conceptualise, design and deliver a recycling campaign that will inspire and motivate students to recycle their waste, whilst increasing recognition of the Recycle Now brand and making it engaging to fellow students: 

1. Deliver a piece of audience research to inform your campaign idea (such as a focus group, survey or both) exploring themes such as what would motivate students to recycle more, barriers to participation, and campaign messages that are most engaging to students. 

2. Produce a recycling campaign concept aimed at students based at a university of your choice. We particularly welcome campaign ideas based in Welsh Universities. Your concept must include a campaign name, your chosen campaign imagery (which can be presented as a mood board or in a design layout), and the overall messaging of the campaign including your strapline and supporting blurbs. You must provide justifications and explanations for each element of your campaign. 

3. Develop a communications plan highlighting how your campaign will be 

rolled out across your chosen university over the academic year. Your plan must take into account a combination of media platforms and communications channels that students are likely to engage with - including social media, events, PR and print, whilst also illustrating key events and seasons in the university calendar. 

Useful Links & Resources 

• Recycle now website: 

• Recycle for Wales website: 

• A student campaign delivered by WRAP in Preston University 

• Attitude and behavioural change model: test-prep/mcat/behavior/theories-of-attitude-and-behavior-change/v/persuasion-attitude-change-and-the-elaboration-likelihood-model 

• There are plenty of useful resources and materials available on our partner site including our Recycle Now strategy, examples of some of our campaigns and our logos. You must register through the site to access the materials: 

Deliverables & Additional Information 

For guidance on how to submit your work, please adhere to the main deliverables information which can be found at the YCN website. 

Any additional information referenced in the brief can be found in the supporting Project Pack at the YCN website.