Innovate Blog
2.1 million materials back #InTheLoop thanks to on-the-go recycling in Leeds, Swansea and Edinburgh backed by Bunzl Catering Supplies

Friday October 23, 2020

Two further trials announced in Wolverhampton and London

2.1 million cans, plastic and glass bottles and coffee cups were collected and recycled across three pilot projects to tackle on-the-go waste in Leeds, Swansea and Edinburgh, weighing approximately 44.5 tonnes – the equivalent of 20 adult rhinos.

The trials were launched in 2018 and 2019 by environmental charity Hubbub in partnership with local councils, local delivery partners and measurement and evaluation experts in each of the cities. The projects improved on-street recycling facilities by providing bright, easy to use bins that were strategically positioned on the streets, alongside clear and consistent communications campaigns and eye-catching art installations to inspire recycling and improve contamination rates.

On-the-go waste continues to be a significant problem for authorities across the country. Every year in the UK we use an estimated total of 25 billion plastic bottles, cans and coffee cups. Of these around 11 billion don’t get recycled, meaning they go to waste. That works out at about 8,000 per minute.

Hubbub first tried and tested a collaborative solution to this problem in Leeds for 12 months with the iconic #LeedsByExample campaign, which launched in October 2018. The Swansea six-month trial launched in September 2019 under the new brand of #InTheLoop, followed by Edinburgh for six months from October 2019. Today the charity is announcing two further trials in a town in the Midlands and a London Borough which will launch in the new year.

The results and learnings from all five trials across very different locations will contribute to the development of a blueprint for other local authorities to benefit from. Local authorities interested in finding out more about the trials including key learnings and advice on how to can launch their own #InTheLoop project to make on-the-go recycling easy, fun and impactful, can join an upcoming webinar on 17th November. Further details and registration links are available here.

Gavin Ellis, Co-founder and Director of Hubbub

“We’ve been really pleased with how the trials have gone in Leeds, Edinburgh and Swansea. Together, they’ve helped us identify the ingredients for successful on-the-go recycling – increasing recycling points, creating stand out bins and making it easy for people to do the right thing.  A strong collaboration of committed local partners and cost-effective systems that are viable in the long term have also been key to the campaigns’ success.

“The 2.1 million materials we’ve recycled in the trial stages have saved the CO2 equivalent of taking 78 return flights from London Heathrow to New York. Imagine what more we could do with more councils on board! We’d really like to hear from other local authorities keen to tackle these issues.”

Justin Turquet, Head of Sustainability at Bunzl Catering & Hospitality Division

“It is great to see this collaborative project go from strength to strength, plans to expand the project into other cities are particularly encouraging.  What this project highlights is that when given the opportunity to recycle on the go, consumers are able to make the right choices with their used packaging, protecting the environment and increasing the chances of these valuable materials being recaptured and used again.”

Cllr Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment & Infrastructure Management at Swansea Council said: “I am really pleased to see the positive outcomes of Swansea #InTheLoop, the increase in recycling rates and the raised awareness of Swansea residents on the importance of recycling. The campaign successfully captured the imagination of the public and secured the support of many of our local businesses. Swansea City Council will maintain and build on the scheme in the future.”

#InTheLoop which is the UK’s biggest collaborative approach to boost recycling on-the-go – is being backed by Starbucks, Ecosurety, Asda, Bunzl, Caffè Nero, Coca-Cola GB, Costa Coffee, Danone – owners of the evian and Volvic brands, Highland Spring Group, innocent Drinks, Marks & Spencer, McDonald’s, Nestlé, Pret a Manger, Shell and Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I.

Click here for information about the Sustainable Future programme at Bunzl Catering Supplies.