The environmental behaviour change charity Hubbub and recycling compliance scheme Ecosurety have formed a partnership to bring big businesses together in the UK city of Leeds to improve the “on-the-go” recycling of food and drink packaging.
The #LeedsByExample initiative will pilot the campaign for six months from September, combining new technologies with added recycling facilities and engaging communications activities.
The initiative is backed by a number of plastics industry, retail and consumer giants including supermarket chains, British Plastics Federation, Coca-Cola GB, Klöckner Pentaplast (kp), PepsiCo and Shell.
In a statement released 25 June, the campaign organisers said they will address the growing challenge of on-the-go recycling by offering better infrastructure.
According to the statement, 18- to 25-year-olds are twice as likely as older generations to buy food on-the-go, but are less likely to recycle.
While the food-to-go industry is already worth £17.4bn (€20bn) a year – and projected to increase to over £23bn (€26bn) by 2021 – a recent study by ReCoup found that only 42% of local authorities provide on-the-go recycling facilities.
#LeedsByExample will see new recycling facilities introduced in public places, including streets, local offices, shopping centres, universities and transport hubs.
As part of the initiative, an app has been developed by OPRL, which will use on-pack barcodes to help people understand what and how to recycle, with a map to find their nearest recycling points.
With 57% of the Leeds population aged between16-24, the app is one of the elements in the campaign designed to engage the youth.
The city has a growing residential population with an average weekly footfall of 1.3 million.
“We'll be providing subsidised recycling bins, communications support and advice and would love to hear from any Leeds businesses interested in getting involved,” said Gavin Ellis, director and co-founder of Hubbub.