CLIMATE CHANGE

Cartoon Network and Envision Racing raise awareness about e-waste with young audiences

With e-waste increasingly impacting lives across the globe – and the World Health Organisation calling e-waste the ‘next growing threat to the environment’ – Envision Racing and Cartoon Network have partnered to launch a cross-platform EMEA wide campaign to inform, engage, and empower children about e-waste.

According to the UN, electronic waste (e-waste) is the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream, with production expected to reach 82 million tonnes globally per year by 2030. This includes items such as mobile phones, laptops, MP3 players, plugs and batteries.

The move follows on from the successful launch of the Climate E-Racers game on Roblox: in the first month on the platform, over one million users have tried out the game, which encourages racing against the clock and friends while learning about some key e-waste themes.

E-waste is very relevant to Cartoon Network’s audience as it has an increasing impact on kids’ lives. As digital and tech natives, electronics play a fundamental role in their everyday life. All kids around the world can relate toe-waste with toys being a massive source: 7.3 billion e-toys (car racing sets, electric trains, music toys, talking dolls, drones etc) are now discarded annually. That’s an average of one per person on Earth!

A research survey undertaken by Cartoon Network found that 70% of children aged 6-11 across the EMEA region, had not heard of e-waste or were aware but not sure / had no idea what it means. Results from the study show that:

• MAJORITY OF KIDS AGED 6-11 YRS. CLAIM TO HAVE HEARD OF E-WASTE, BUT IN REALITY, FEW (30%) KNOW WHAT IT MEANS

• KIDS IN POLAND (47%), TURKEY (37%) & SOUTH AFRICA (28%) MORE FAMILIAR WITH E-WASTE THAN PEERS IN UK (19%) AND FRANCE (17 %) 

• POLISH KIDS (81 %) ARE NOTABLY MORE LIKELY TO LINK E-WASTE WITH THE CORRECT DEFINITION vs. OTHER MARKETS; UK (26%) & FRANCE (19%) UNDER-INDEX

• MOST KIDS (87 %) HAVE AT LEAST ONE E-WASTE ITEM AT HOME WITH KIDS’ TOYS, HEADPHONES & TABLETS AMONG THE TOP 3 

• MANY KIDS SAY THEY STORE E-WASTE ITEMS AT HOME OR THROW THEM AWAY, HIGHLIGHTING THE NEED FOR EDUCATION


Source: EMEA Kids Insights, primary research survey conducted on the Quantilope platform, Aug’23; sample size n=1,500, Audience: Kids aged 6-11 yrs. ; Markets: UK, S. Africa, France, Turkey & Poland 

In response to this data, Cartoon Network recognised the opportunity to benefit both the planet and children by using its combined platforms, reach, and the expertise of Envision Racing to highlight the issue of electronic waste. The e-waste campaign aims to raise awareness and understanding through new, fun, relatable, and inspiring content designed to encourage action via e-waste-themed Climate Champions challenges,informative videos, quizzes and trivia.

Cartoon Network Climate Champions’ new e-waste video content will air on the Cartoon Network channeland includes a “Guide to E-waste” video that explains what e-waste is, why it’s an important issue and the basics of how we can help tackle it.  Cartoon Network will also air e-waste promos, explaining issues around e-waste with a call to action on how kids can get involved in tackling it, and share weekly uploads to its social & YouTube channels to help broaden reach and drive key e-waste messages home.

In addition, children can find new, fun and informative e-waste content in the Cartoon Network Climate Champions app and on the website. This includes new e-waste challenges, new facts and trivia about e-waste, new quizzes, new voting cards, and new videos featuring real kids talking about the issue of electronic waste.

Among the many e-waste challenges available includes the ‘Device Rescue Mission,’ where children check their homes for old electronic devices that can be recycled, the ‘No Crossed Wires’ challenge, which involves taking care of chargers by preventing damage from wire tangles, and the ‘Phone Numbers!’ challenge, where kids count the number of mobile phones in their homes, including unused ones.

Warner Bros Discovery, VP Brand, Comms and Digital Content Strategy, Monika Oomen says: “E-waste is highly relevant to children, yet our research indicates a notable gap between their intentions and actions, primarily due to a lack of knowledge on proper disposal methods. It is encouraging to witness the agency among kids, and our goal is to help translate their intentions into meaningful actions.”

Cartoon Network’s Climate Champions initiative empowers and inspires young people to act and help the environment. Kids aged 6-12 can become Climate Champions by taking on daily challenges and making a significant difference together. The collaboration with the world champion racing team, Envision Racing, underscores Cartoon Network’s commitment to educating young minds.

In the MENA region, Cartoon Network has been actively engaging children with a variety of interactive activities as part of the Climate Champions initiative. Cartoon Network MENA recently partnered with the Emirates Environmental Group to launch an environment-themed drawing competition, inspiring children to creatively explore and raise awareness about environmental issues.

Further expanding their Climate Champions initiative, Cartoon Network EMEA integrated it into Cartoon Network Game On! by introducing e-waste challenges on Roblox. In collaboration with Envision Racing, they launched the Climate E-Racers mini-game, where players race in vehicles customized with e-waste collected in the game, completing Climate Champions challenges.

Since its launch in May, Climate E-Racers has amassed over 1 million visits, ensuring this crucial message reaches children during their playtime. Over half-a-million in-game climate challenges have also been completed; meaning players are learning about how they can tackle e-waste as they earn ways to customise their racing cars.

As part of Envision Racing’s Race Against Climate Change programme, the team has long aimed to energise fans to help save the planet, with the growing problem of e-waste a recent focus.

In 2023 the team unveiled the world’s first, fully driveable race car made entirely out of e-waste to highlight the growing worldwide problem.