Innovate Blog
Swansea #InTheLoop recycling initiative

Wednesday September 11, 2019

UK’s biggest collaborative approach to recycling on-the-go arrives in Swansea supported by Bunzl.

Brightly coloured bins and a huge art installation appeared in Swansea city centre yesterday (Tuesday 10 September) as a new on-the-go recycling initiative was launched by environmental charity Hubbub, in partnership with Swansea City Council and supported by Bunzl.

Swansea #InTheLoop, is a five-month pilot scheme with the aim of increasing levels of recycling of plastic packaging, cans, glass bottles and coffee cups across the city.

Wales ranks second in the world for recycling at home, with figures showing that 63% of general waste collected by local authorities is reused, recycled or composted.* While the people of Wales are well versed in home recycling, on-the-go recycling is still an area that needs to be improved, and less than half of local authorities across the UK provide on-the-go recycling facilities.**

Led by Hubbub and Swansea City Council, Swansea #InTheLoop will see new look bins across the city centre and new recycling points in local offices, shopping centres, universities, hospitals and transport hubs. An art installation of a giant wave made of recycled plastics, cans and cups has been created by South Wales eco-artist Wren Miller, to further raise awareness of the importance of recycling. The Wave can be seen in the following locations around Swansea:

  • 10th Sept – 19th Sept: City Centre (Castle Square)
  • 19th Sept – 29th Sept: Swansea University (Singleton Campus)
  • 30th Sept – 6th Oct: Quadrant Shopping Centre

Other locations are invited to get in touch if they’re interested in hosting The Wave after 6th October.

The campaign is being supported by local partners, who collaboratively have made the initiative possible. As well as Swansea City Council, these include the Environment Centre, Swansea University and Keep Wales Tidy – pioneers of the Love Wales recycling initiative.

A central focus of the campaign will be to improve coffee cup recycling. Cups can be recycled but have to be collected separately from ordinary card and paper, due to the plastic lining that stops the cups from leaking. To tackle this, Swansea City Council will introduce new bright orange bins in the city centre to collect coffee cups.

Gavin Ellis, Co-founder and Director of Hubbub said: “We’re really excited to see our second on-the-go recycling initiative introduced in Swansea. The impact our pilot campaign had on the city of Leeds far surpassed our expectations and with Wales already having an impressive track record on recycling, we are looking forward to seeing if the people of Swansea can take things a step further. Through our eye-catching bins, to the businesses taking part in raising awareness among their employees and customers, we will give residents and visitors to Swansea a better opportunity to recycle while out and about.”

Philip McDonnell, Manager of the Environment Centre, Swansea said: “We see through our public engagement activities and environmental projects how keen people in Swansea are to do the right thing, so it’s great that Swansea #InTheLoop gives everyone the opportunity to recycle more when they’re out and about. We hope that residents and visitors alike will get involved, as the combined small actions of each individual can add up to create a big change.”

Hubbub launched its inaugural on-the-go recycling scheme #LeedsByExample in 2018, which saw on-the-go recycling rates in Leeds increase from 17% to 32% in just six months. The campaign has sparked national interest from cities across the UK, with Swansea being the second city to join the movement, soon to be followed by Edinburgh later this year.

The initiative – 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, Highland Spring Group, Innocent Drinks, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Marks & Spencer, McDonald’s, Nestlé, Pret a Manger and Shell.