What you may not know is that with every new purchase, you also pay a Recupel contribution. Until recently, I thought Recupel was a government body that levies some kind of eco-tax. Quite to the contrary. The importers and producers of electrical appliances are legally obliged to take care of the collection and processing of discarded appliances. To be able to streamline all this, they founded the non-profit organisation Recupel in 2001. Its operations are financed exclusively by the Recupel contribution. For example, for a mobile phone, you pay a contribution of just 5 cents. For that price, you can take your appliance to any of the many collection points. Recupel will then transport it to a processing centre where up to 99% of the appliance will be recycled. The raw materials will be reused in the production of new appliances. Visit the Recupel website to find out exactly how this works.

How the spark was ignited

Last year, when Saar Bentein joined Recupel as a Spokesperson and PR Manager, she took Blue Lines along with her as her translation partner. She had got to know us in her previous role at the marketing communications agency ‘make sense’.

“You had sent us a friendly, spontaneous prospecting email that was very different from the usual pushy sales pitches. The animated tone of your message persuaded me to order a translation from Blue Lines. This translation turned out to be of extremely high quality, and the collaboration went very smoothly. I was immediately sold! That’s why I didn’t hesitate to keep on using you.”

“It is very important to me to have good contact with the project managers. Usually, it’s Kobe who takes care of my translation projects. These projects range from annual reports and minutes of meetings to press releases, memoranda, and so on. The source texts are usually written in Dutch, but sometimes also in French. We also communicate in English. I always ask a French-speaking colleague to proofread the translations into French internally to rule out any misinterpretations. The fact that I hardly ever receive any comments is a clear sign to me that your translation work is very reliable. You are not the cheapest on word price. But as I hardly have any further work to do on it afterwards, I believe the price-quality ratio is very fair.”

Communication in the coronavirus era: anticipating and rethinking

In springtime, we all feel the urge to have a good clear-out. That’s why, each year in spring, Recupel runs an awareness-raising campaign to encourage bringing in discarded electrical appliances. This year, however, COVID-19 put a stop to this. The recycling parks were closed down for several weeks, as were many retail points with collection boxes.

Saar: “There was little point in trying to encourage people to get rid of their unused electrical appliances. Our only option was to quickly adapt our communications campaigns, advise the general public to hold on to their appliances for a while, and postpone the collection campaign for the time being.”

Towards a circular economy

“Environmental policy is receiving growing attention at both national and European levels. As a result, governments and stakeholders are subjecting our activities and results to critical scrutiny. They expect Recupel to be innovative and to continue to modernise its operations. Today, we recycle and revalue approximately 90% of the components of each electrical appliance. The main challenge for the coming years is that we want to invest in the circular economy even more by having a stronger focus on reuse, among other things.”

A mutual update

Finally, I would like to know if Saar has any questions for Blue Lines.

Saar: “Yes! I always contact you for translations. But do you also do other things, such as copywriting?”

Absolutely! We have been writing commercial texts from scratch in various European languages, including English and French, for some time. We are now increasingly writing them in Dutch and then translating them into the client’s other working languages. As the demand for SEO-optimised texts is clearly increasing, we have also strengthened our team with some excellent copywriters with plenty of experience in digital marketing.

Saar: “That’s great to know! By the way, are your translators all native speakers, or only the people who proofread the translations?”

We can be crystal clear about that too: native speakers only! Our translators only translate into their native languages, without exception. But that is far from the only condition they need to satisfy to be allowed to start with us. They not only have to pass a treacherous test, but also show that their writing style is very close to that of a good quality copywriter. Do you have any questions for Recupel or Blue Lines?

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