The War on Waste: How Lotteries Can Connect with Growing Numbers of Waste-Watchers

Environmental Growth and Responsibility

“Waste not, want not” is an old adage that is more relevant now than ever. Today, wasteful behavior makes headlines, consumers look on in horror at the devastating impact of plastic pollution on wildlife, and many businesses are turning to less harmful materials for their packaging, or even eliminating packaging altogether. Many consumers feel a personal responsibility to consume consciously, committing to waste-reducing behaviors such as carrying reusable shopping bags or a refillable water bottle, and are putting pressure on brands to make waste reduction hassle-free.

Globally, 71 percent of consumers agree that people are wasteful when it comes to food (74 percent among lottery players)1. But there is a significant number of consumers taking some steps towards reducing waste. For instance, 32 percent of weekly gamblers (including those that play the lottery) recycle to make up for less environmentally friendly activities (29 percent global average)2. This offsetting behavior is particularly pronounced among weekly gamblers in the Netherlands (30 percent) compared to non-gamblers (12 percent). Recycling is a social norm in the Netherlands that has been heavily incentivized through a waste collection tax. Weekly gamblers there appreciate environmental measures that also benefit them as individuals.

Lotteries have many opportunities to minimize, recycle, or eliminate waste from the player journey and give players the opportunity to contribute to this global movement.

Shoulder the recycling burden

Recycling is already an ingrained behavior in many countries, so improving the recycling rate of lottery tickets is an easy win for which consumers will see the benefit. Offering a second chance draw entry in return for each recycled ticket would add a fresh, eco-friendly angle to the established reward mechanism.

Choose materials wisely

In considering ticket materials, eco-conscious lotteries should steer clear of plastics, specifically single-use plastics, as they have come under fire in many countries such as the U.K. and Kenya, and in some U.S. states that have plastic bag bans. Where paper is necessary, consider using recycled materials, or give value to the item perceived as waste – perhaps instant ticket cards could be produced on paper embedded with tiny seeds, so that losing players could plant them in their nearest plot of soil to produce a wildflower bed or tasty salad greens.

Go digital

Seek out waste-free digital alternatives to printed tickets and paper play-slips, and virtual rather than physical play stations that can be called up using Augmented Reality technology when a player scans a lottery image in a retail environment.

While reducing waste within a lottery organization is a key component of today’s brand responsibility, helping consumers to reduce their personal environmental impact can help build a valuable emotional relationship with a player.


The research used in this post was conducted by our research partner, Foresight Factory.

1Source: Foresight Factory | Base: 380-3357 online respondents per country aged 16-64, [Indonesia 16-54], 2017 August
2 Source: Foresight Factory | Base: Weekly gamblers (including lottery players) among 696-4043 online respondents per country aged 16-64, [Indonesia, South Africa 16-54], 2016 February

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