Canary Wharf Group Showcases HELPFUL App and Launches Next Steps in Breaking The Plastic Habit Campaign – 04.02.19

On Thursday 10 January, Canary Wharf Group launched, in partnership with HELPFUL, the revolutionary HELPFUL app. The world’s first plastic recycling and rewarding app, HELPFUL simplifies and incentivises reuse and recycling for consumers.

Piloted by Canary Wharf Group, the app will help the 150,000 people who visit and work on the Estate each day to correctly recycle waste, switch to reusable products and collect rewards; the app is another pioneering step in making sustainable behaviour achievable on a community-wide scale. As John Garwood, MD and Group Company Secretary of Canary Wharf Group said “if everyone changed one little thing to become more sustainable, this would create a world of change,”.

With 500 downloads of the app in its first three days, this pioneering Estate-wide effort to drive behavioural change is the next step in Canary Wharf Group’s continued campaign towards becoming the world’s first Plastic Free Commercial Centre following the Surfers Against Sewage framework. It is also the first time that HELPFUL have been able to incorporate rewards for reuse as well as recycling on a large scale.

Participating retailers at Canary Wharf that will be supporting the app with QR code points to claim reuse coin rewards, include Caffè Nero, Carluccio’s, Crussh, Eat, Krispy Kreme, Leon, Notes Coffee, Ole & Steen, Paul, Pret a Manger, Scribbler, Starbucks and Ted Baker, with Surfers Against Sewage providing reward items that are also claimable through the app.

Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of SAS of Surfers Against Sewage presented at the Breakfast Briefing, giving background to the Plastic Free Commercial Centre pledge Canary Wharf have made and the philosophy behind the charity. He told the audience that actions like the Surfers Against Sewage campaign and Canary Wharf’s pledge are “reinventing the relationship we have with plastic in order to create a better future and long-term positive change.”

Martin Gettings, Group Head of Sustainability at Canary Wharf Group emphasised that they “hope the commitment culture Canary Wharf Group is fostering on the Estate will act as an incredible beacon of best practice.” By promoting and supporting a closed loop circular economy on the Estate, Martin Gettings hopes Canary Wharf will “change the way people think about waste and consider how we can all use our resources in the best possible way, sharing best practice, building excitement around the activities and celebrating the art of the possible in order to tackle the issues as quickly as possible.”

During a live demonstration, the audience was able to see exactly how to use the HELPFUL App, by scanning coffee cups or plastic bottles the user receives immediate feedback on where exactly on the Estate you are able to recycle or reuse the plastic products. It was also demonstrated how to claim the virtual reward “coin”, redeemable via QR codes on the recycling/reuse points across the Estate.

Canary Wharf’s unparalleled commitment to creating a sustainable micro city goes even further than launch of the HELPFUL app. January sees the return of Canary Wharf Group’s award-winning Winter Lights festival for a fifth year. For 2019, Winter Lights will have a particular focus on sustainability and the environment. Many of the 20 installations will have been made using recycled and sustainable materials, whilst others portray strong messages about recycling and climate change. Alexander Reichstein’s stunning Last Parade installation will project the shadows of endangered animals whilst Zac Greening’s Blue Neuron sculptures have been produced entirely from reused plastic bottles.

Other successful sustainability initiatives on the Estate include Wharf Kitchen. Situated in Jubilee Place, the vibrant new food hall offers diners a choice of cuisines from across the globe but, in keeping with Canary Wharf’s Breaking The Plastic Habit initiative, all food packaging and cups used as part of Wharf Kitchen are compostable and go into a dedicated waste stream to be turned into commercial compost. To help make using refillable water bottles become the new norm, Canary Wharf have also installed seven refill stations across the Estate, giving access to water on the go across the malls. In addition to this, the five day nurseries of the Estate’s Bright Horizons Foundation for Children have eliminated single-use plastic and taken delivery of over 500 reusable water bottles. They are also installing water dispensers in the nurseries for refilling the bottles.

For more details on Canary Wharf’s Group’s Breaking The Plastic Habit campaign, please visit


For further information, please contact:

Press Office
Canary Wharf Group plc
T: 020 7418 2166

Notes to Editors

About Canary Wharf Group:

Canary Wharf Group plc has overseen the largest urban regeneration project ever undertaken in Europe, designing and building more than 16.5m sq ft of London real estate, which now houses local and international companies and renowned retailers.

The Canary Wharf Estate is a major retail destination comprising around 1m sq ft across five shopping malls, including the award-winning leisure development, Crossrail Place, housing one of London’s most stunning roof gardens. It also has world-class, year-round arts and events programme offering over 200 diverse and culturally inspiring events performed throughout the Estate.

Canary Wharf Group is a wholly owned joint venture between Brookfield Property Partners and the Qatar Investment Authority.
Instagram: @canarywharflondon
Twitter: @YourCanaryWharf
Twitter: @CanaryWharfGrp
Twitter: @Level39CW

About Canary Wharf’s ‘Plastic Free Community’ commitment:

Canary Wharf Group have committed to use the Plastic Free Communities framework from Surfers Against Sewage as a guide to inform and unite businesses and consumers, in driving down the use of avoidable single-use plastics across the Canary Wharf Estate and offering sustainable alternatives where possible.

This is not about removing all plastic on the Estate, but targeting specific, avoidable single-use plastic items and influencing a positive behavioural change amongst Canary Wharf stakeholders, encouraging them to rethink their own usage, and break the habit by incrementally and collectively moving away from throwaway plastics.
Instagram: @surfersagainstsewage
Twitter: @sascampaigns

About HELPFUL and the HELPFUL app

HELPFUL is a free app tackling the enormous problem of coffee cups and plastic bottles not being recycled properly and ending up in the landfill and our oceans.  They would like to play their part in reducing the 2.5 billion of cups and 7.5 billion water bottles, we are currently using every year in the UK.

The app identifies the plastic and guides the user how to recycle it. If one of our HELPFUL Bins is nearby, it directs them there to ensure it’s been recycled properly.

HELPFUL is the world’s first plastic recycling and rewarding app, using the power of AI and smart bins technology to connect to existing public bin infrastructure to help people break the plastic habit by rewarding them for recycling, reusing and reducing single plastic usage.

We are partnering with some of the UK’s leading brands, retailers and shopping centres to enable them to recycle their coffee cups and water bottles.

The HELPFUL app is available for iPhones and Android smartphones.
Instagram: @helpful_app
Twitter: @helpful_world