New funding and toolkit to boost on-the-go recycling

Two people dressed in high visibility overalls, stood next to Hubbub's In The Loop bins at the side of a street.
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New funding and toolkit to boost on-the-go recycling

By Alex Robinson 5th October, 2022

This fund has now closed. Find out more about #InTheLoop here.

Today at Hubbub we’ve launched a new grant fund and ‘In The Loop’ toolkit to support local authorities to introduce and scale effective on-the-go recycling across the UK.

#InTheLoop is the UK and Ireland's biggest collaborative approach to boost recycling on-the-go. First trialled in Leeds in 2018, the approach boosted the number of people recycling on-the-go in Leeds City Centre from 17% to 49%, and has since been scaled to Swansea, Edinburgh, Dublin, Wimbledon, Telford and Lambeth. The freely available toolkit, funded by environmental compliance scheme Ecosurety, brings together everything Hubbub has learned along the way, and we hope it will serve as a blueprint for local authorities around the UK and Ireland to build on its success.

What we've learned

#IntheLoop projects have collected and recycled over 2.5 million plastic and glass bottles and cans. Each area installed and tested a range of bright, colourful and eye-catching bins to make it as easy as possible for people to recycle empty glass, plastic bottles, cans, and in some cases coffee cups, and thereby improve recycling rates. Our new online toolkit is packed with information, tips and downloadable templates and assets. Key recommendations include:   

  • Bright bins: Make the bins colourful and bright: they need to stand out on busy streets.
  • Be specific: ‘Mixed recycling’ gets mixed results. People spend less than two seconds at a bin, so be concise and unambiguous.
  • Bins need buddies: Don’t leave a recycling bin by itself, or it’ll collect general waste and defeat the purpose.
  • Keep it positive and simple: Use positive, encouraging messages in your communications and avoid jargon.
  • Repetition is key: marketeers talk about the ‘rule of seven’ for a reason.   Build a partnership: Amplify the campaign messages with local partnerships, on and offline.
  • Measure and make better: Measure what does and doesn’t work through on-the-ground observations, public surveys and waste composition analysis, and refine your approach accordingly.

The toolkit aims to provide valuable and easy to implement advice to local authorities, for whom on-the-go waste continues to be a significant problem. It’s estimated that 9 in 10 of us recycle at home compared to just 4 in 10 who recycle on-the-go. The numbers are eye-watering: in 2019 an estimated eight billion drinks containers failed to get recycled in the UK. At the same time, less than half of local authorities currently have on-street recycling systems, and 94% of the British public would like to see more recycling points in public places.

New grant funding available

To help local authorities and other organisations address this issue and boost out of home recycling, the publication of the new toolkit is supported by additional funding made available by The Coca-Cola Foundation.  

The #InTheLoop grant fund aims to build upon the successes and impact of the seven #InTheLoop campaigns, and Treasure Your River, the largest ever collaboration to reduce litter along five major UK rivers. The fund will support four new projects to introduce or improve their recycling points using #InTheLoop toolkit in areas that include waterways, such as coastline, riverways, canals, docks or wetlands.  

Grant funding of £25,000 will be made available to each successful applicant. As well as the funding, Hubbub will provide ongoing support to successful applicants to support the delivery of the campaign and new infrastructure.

Are you a business that wants to collaborate?

If you have a challenge to share, or want to get involved with our work, we'd love to hear from you.

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