Food giants team up to fund Edinburgh’s first on-street recycling infrastructure

On-street recycling infrastructure for food and drinks packaging has been installed in Edinburgh for the first time, as part of a campaign run by charity Hubbub and backed by businesses including McDonald's, Costa Coffee and Nestle.

Food giants team up to fund Edinburgh’s first on-street recycling infrastructure

The campaign officially launched on Tuesday (22 October). Image: Hubbub

Hubbub this week launched the campaign, called Edinburgh In The Loop, following the success of its “Leeds by Example” recycling scheme for food-to-go in Leeds.

Following a similar structure to Leeds by Example, Edinburgh In The Loop has seen recycling bins for coffee cups, aluminium drinks cans and plastic drinks bottles installed across the city centre.

Funding to install the bins was secured through collaborations with companies including  Starbucks, Ecosurety, Asda, Bunzl, Caffè Nero, Coca-Cola GB, Costa Coffee, Danone Waters, Highland Spring Group, innocent Drinks, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Marks & Spencer, McDonald’s, Nestlé and Pret-A-Manger.

In order to make the scheme more eye-catching and engaging, bins which blow bubbles, multi-coloured signage and a new art installation have been put in place. Created by Scotland-based artists Sam Cornwell and Cody Lukas, the art installation in St Andrew square displays plastic bottles, drinks cans sand coffee cups, which are lit up at night using solar power generated onsite.

Hubbub is also promoting the scheme on its social media, as are campaign partners The City of Edinburgh Council Changeworks, Waverley Mall, Essential Edinburgh BID and Scotwaste. 

The charity hopes that Edinburgh In The Loop will deliver similar results to Leeds By Example, which boosted the proportion of Leeds residents and visitors who were regularly disposing of their plastic packaging, drinks cans and coffee cups in recycling bins while they were out and about from 17% to 32%.

“Disposing of packaging on the go can be really challenging,” Changeworks’head of projects Sam Mills said. “These new recycling bins will make this much easier across the city centre, and we’re excited to see just how much waste we can keep from being thrown away.” 

Edinburgh In The Loop will initially run for five months. In the meantime, Hubbub is planning to launch a similar infrastructure and behaviour change scheme around on-the-go recycling in Swansea, Wales, within the coming weeks.

Sarah George

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