Innovate Blog
Bunzl plc joins with industry leaders to support #LeedsByExample

Friday October 12, 2018

Following on from the huge success of the Square Mile Challenge, which saw over 4 million coffee cups in the City of London recycled, environmental charity Hubbub has launched a new campaign in the City of Leeds called #LeedsByExample, which aims to increase the number of food and drink packaging being recycled.

As part of Bunzl plc, we will be supporting the #LeedsByExample campaign alongside an array of other industry and household names, including: Alupro, Asda, Association of Convenience Stores, Ball Beverage Packaging Europe, British Plastics Federation, Coca-Cola GB, Costa, Co-op, Crown Packaging, Danone, Ecosurety, Highland Spring, Innocent, Klöckner Pentaplast (kp), Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Marks and Spencer, McDonald’s, Morrisons, PepsiCo UK, Pret, Starbucks and Shell.

Those who live, work or visit Leeds City Centre are now able to recycle their waste on the go in one of the special #LeedsByExample bins and at a range of locations such as local offices, shopping centres and universities.

Once placed in the special bins all the waste will be sent to a Materials Recovery Facility in Leeds for sorting into different material types before being sent on to reprocessing facilities for recycling.

Leeds has been chosen for this campaign because it’s a major destination for business and leisure, it has a growing residential population and the average weekly footfall of 1.3 million provides a great opportunity to trial this innovative approach to recycling.

Prior to the launch of #LeedsByExample, Hubbub conducted a survey of visitors to Leeds City Centre in August 2018 and found that 52 per cent of respondents had thrown away recyclable waste, such as plastic bottles, cans, coffee cups and food packaging – a statistic it hopes to drastically reduce.

To tackle this rising issue, Hubbub will be trialling an innovative list of behaviour change techniques, which have launched this week, such as:

  • The launch of a new OPRL (On-Pack Recycling Label) app, which will enable consumers to scan drink containers and coffee cups to find their nearest recycling point
  • Five recycling reward machines based in universities, shops, shopping centres and petrol stations, which will provide people with a reward for recycling plastic bottles and coffee cups
  • A ‘Re-Cycler’ bike, which will offer consumers sweet treats for recycling
  • A Bubble-blowing bin promoting the recycling message, releasing bubbles in exchange for plastic bottles and cans

Hubbub will also be using playful messages to communicate the concept of recycling to the consumer, such as ‘empty plastic and cans, nowt else’ written on recycling bins.

These informative yet eye-catching messages should help to improve the quality of recycling collected, by preventing recycling being contaminated by liquids, tea bags and leftover food. Hubbub will also have messages at road crossings and parks, and a large shipping container display, all to influence consumers to recycle whilst they are on the go.

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder of Hubbub comments: “The huge range of eye-catching recycling bins and communications throughout Leeds city centre will make it really easy for residents, workers and visitors to spot their nearest recycling point. We’re interested to discover which of these will make the biggest difference and will share what we learn openly so that the most successful elements can be rolled out in Leeds and nationally. We’re also making sure that all of the recycling we collect will be processed in the UK as locally as possible.”

Joanna Gilroy, Head of Sustainability, Bunzl Catering Supplies, comments: “I am extremely proud that our parent company Bunzl plc is joining 23 other key organisations, some of whom are our customers and suppliers, in supporting and promoting recycling in Leeds City Centre. Dedicated to making hospitality happen for a more sustainable future, we believe that to successfully address the issue of recycling, collaboration on this scale, with organisations across the entire supply chain, is an absolute must.”

The campaign will run for six months and once completed, data will be compiled and the results will be made openly available.  The aim is that the successful elements of #LeedsByExample will continue in Leeds and will be rolled out throughout the country.

Main image: Leeds Councillor Mohammed Rafique with the new #LeedsByExample bins