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To Encourage Recycling, Coke Made An Arcade Game Powered By Empty Plastic Bottles

The "Happiness Arcade" bets that making recycling a game can help clean up Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the world.

Transforming practical tasks or work into a game has been happening for centuries. Just ask any kid challenged to a veggie-eating race at the dinner table. It also may or may not have something to do with the invention of curling.

Coca-Cola and agency Grey Dhaka decided to use fun times to try and tackle the lack of recycling awareness in the Bangladesh city of 15 million people. They created an arcade game powered not by coins, but empty plastic bottles. Drop a bottle in through the charmingly bottle-shaped slot and get a chance to play a Pong-like video game.

The game traveled to six different locations around Dhaka over six days. And while it's not really sustainable as a practical mode of recycling, there no doubt an arcade game is a bit more effective in raising awareness than tiny print on the label that you need to squint to see "Please Recycle." The agency says the idea will soon expand beyond Bangladesh to other countries around the world. May we suggest they adapt Frogger next time?

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  • Or, much more simply, they could charge a small #deposit and #reuse the bottles. This is what beer and soft drink companies used to do - and still do, in many countries e.g. S. Australia

  • "Lets call recycling what it is- a fraud, a sham, a scam perpetrated by big business on the citizens and municipalities of America. Look who sponsors the National Recycling Coalition: behind America Recycles Day: Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Anheuser-Busch, Coors, Owens-Illinois, International Bottled Water Association, the same people who brought you that other fraud, Keep America Beautiful.

    Recycling is simply the transfer of producer responsibility for what they produce to the taxpayer who has to pick it up and take it away." -- Lloyd Alter, Treehugger

  • Hey Coke, how about making biodegradable bottles instead? Then you wouldn't have to spend all that money making video games for people who can't afford your product anyway.