Tea Light Hunt wraps up: keen interest in aluminium recycling

During Tea Light Hunt the last three months, 30 000 children in primary schools and day care centers across Norway have collected 8.5 million aluminium tea light cups for recycling. The most tea lights per child were collected at the Lid school in Sveio, Hordaland County. This school also won the competition last year.

February 4, 2014

"It is fantastic to see the interest in recycling and enthusiasm shown by all the children in the Tea Light Hunt," says Hydro's CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg. The grand prize is a class tour to Hydro's recycling facility in Holmestrand, Norway.

Tea Light Hunt is a competition that WWF and IKEA Norway organize together with the non-profit recycling organization Green Dot, the commercial recycler Syklus and Hydro, to raise awareness about and encourage metal recycling. This year's campaign was the third in a row.

When Tea Light Hunt ended 31 January, the 30,000 young tea light hunters had collected a total of 8,456,254 used tea lights to be sent for recycling.

"With Tea Light Hunt, we want to help school and day care children learn about aluminium recycling in a fun, easy and engaging way. At the same time the students are doing important environmental work: by actually collecting the cups and as ambassadors, sharing positive environmental attitudes with their communities. It makes me happy and very proud," says Nina Schefte, head of sustainability at IKEA Norway.

Norway's best tea light hunters

Children in day care centers have joined this year's Tea Light Hunt so a winner in this category has been named along with a Norwegian primary school champion.

Like last year, it is the first and second grade students at Lid school in Sveio in Hordaland County who have collected the most tea lights per child. They win a class trip to Hydro's aluminium plant in Holmestrand. There they will see how aluminium is recycled and smelted into new products. The 11 students from the Lid school turned in 113,128 tea light cups to the recycling station for glass and metal – equivalent to 10,284 tea lights per student.

The first place winners in the day care category are the three year olds from Årøyhaugen day care in Ørskog on the west coast of Norway. In three months they collected and delivered 27,140 used tea lights for recycling – 1,508 per child. The Tea Light Hunt results make WWF Norway's Secretary General Nina Jensen very happy.

"It is extremely impressive that these eager tea light hunters have managed to collect and submit so many used tea lights for recycling. They have shown a great commitment to the environment, which makes them worthy winners of Tea Light Hunt 2014," she says.

Aluminium for 1,200 bicycles

Norwegian children have, in this third campaign, delivered nearly six tonnes of tea light cups for recycling. This is enough aluminium to build 1,200 bicycles.

The numbers and commitment made an impression on Hydro's CEO. "We are impressed by the efforts the participants have shown and the results they have achieved. We are looking forward to showing the winners how used aluminium gets a new life," says Svein Richard Brandtzæg.

As leader of Europe's largest aluminium company he is pleased that Tea Light Hunt has increased knowledge about aluminium recycling among children and adults alike.

"Aluminium recycling saves 95 percent of the energy needed to produce the metal for the first time. It is the environment that wins when tea lights get a new life instead of being thrown out as garbage," he says.

Hydro has established the ambtitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2020. To achieve this goal, the company aims to more than double its recycling of aluminium.

Future tea light hunters

Although the competition is over for this year, the organizers of Tea Light Hunt encourage all children to continue hunting for used tea lights and to remain avid recyclers.

"Tea Light Hunt has helped to establish good habits for collecting tea light cups. This makes it easier for the students and their parents to continue recycling the metal. Through this campaign, the children have learned that when we recycle aluminium, we save both energy and CO2 emissions, while preserving our natural resources. With this knowledge we are sure they will continue to be recycling ambassadors at home," says WWF Norway's leader Nina Jensen.

Updated: October 11, 2016