Swansea #InTheLoop

The UK’s biggest collaborative approach to recycling on-the-go arrives in Swansea, the second UK city to join the nationwide campaign backed by industry giants.
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Thanks to the success of #LeedsByExample which launched in October 2018, other cities joined the movement to boost on-the-go recycling. Under the new name #InTheLoop, Swansea was the first location to take on the mantle after Leeds. Whilst Wales ranks second in the world for recycling at home, on-the-go recycling is an area that still demands improvement and Swansea enthusiastically kicked-off the next phase of the campaign to boost capture rates and reduce contamination of recycling when out-and-about. What started as a trial has now become a lasting fixture, one that is spreading even further across the city.

So, what's the big problem with on-the-go recycling?

Every year in the UK we get through 13 billion plastic bottles, 9 billion drinks cans and a staggering 2.5 billion coffee cups. When you factor in that over half of people dispose of their waste on-the-go, it all adds up to one big problem. A significant proportion of cities don't have on-the-go recycling facilities and even those that do often suffer from high contamination rates that make actually recycling the collected material problematic.

#LeedsByExample made a big splash in the city of Leeds, proving that with improved communications and better infrastructure it was possible to double the number of people recycling whilst reducing contamination. The successful initiatives were next applied to other cities in the UK, first with Swansea but closely followed by Edinburgh later in 2019.


Impactful results

The full 22 page impact report for Swansea #InTheLoop was published in October 2020. Read the report for an insight into all aspects of the campaign, including the key challenges tackled, the wide-ranging collaborations, the implemented behaviour change model, key learns and successes, recommendations for other locations and the planned next steps.
Read the full impact report


Linking industry giants

Swansea #InTheLoop has brought together a variety of global and local stakeholders to collaborate, including the following:
Alupro logo       ASDA logo                Bunzl                Caffe Nero logo           Coca-cola GB logo            Costa logo                                Danone logo           Ecosurety           Highland Spring logo             Hubbub                  Innocent logo                           LRS logo              M&S logo                   mcdonalds logo                 Nestle            Pret a Manger logo                 Shell                   Starbucks logo                 Swansea University            


On-the-go infrastructure

Swansea is built upon the successes of #LeedsByExample with a whole raft of improved on-the-go recycling solutions. 119 recycling bins were either reskinned or installed across the city, including the first on-street coffee cup recycling bins in Wales. This helped increase the collection of target materials by a whopping 89%.

New look bins

Existing bins were re-skinned to help solve the problem of contamination, making it as easy as possible to assess where waste should be deposited.

Other new bins also landed across the city in offices, shopping centres, universities, hospitals and transport hubs.

The burping bin monster

One of the most popular initiatives from the #LeedsByExample campaign was the bubble blowing, burping bin monster - and it has now arrived Swansea!

Proving to be a hit with the locals right from launch day, it is a fantastic way to get people to stop, think about their waste and promote the campaign through word-of-mouth.

Swansea bubble bins

Coffee cup recycling Swansea

Coffee cup recycling

Swansea #InTheLoop has brought the first on-street coffee cup recycling bins to Wales, with new infrastructure located both inside and out across the city in eye-catching orange, making recycling points hard to miss.

The new bins compliment an initiative where consumers can take their used coffee cups back to any participating cafe or food outlet, no matter where they originally bought their drink from.

"We are absolutely thrilled to see that the legacy of #LeedsByExample extends far beyond the improvements made to that one city. The #InTheLoop movement kicking off in Swansea is testament to the power of collaboration by major producers and stakeholders." James Piper CEO, Ecosurety

Consumer awareness

It's all well and good improving on-the-go recycling infrastructure, but raising consumer awareness was also an essential part of Swansea #InTheLoop. From a thought-provoking public art installation and on-street digital advertising, through to colour coded messaging and social media promotion - every effort was being made to get the citizens of Swansea behind the campaign.

Let's wave goodbye to waste

A giant wave made of recycled plastics, cans and cups was created by South Wales eco-artist Wren Miller, to raise awareness of the importance of recycling.

Touring various locations in the city, the sculpture featured the amount of waste thrown away in the UK every 20 seconds - just imagine over 4,300 of these waves hitting our cities and towns every single day.

Wren Miller Swansea wave

Swansea #InTheLoop window sticker

Keeping Swansea in the loop

The campaign was hard to miss across the city with eye catching posters, window stickers, table talkers and banners featuring the various target materials as characters.

Amplifying the message

Social media was a key part of the plan to reach consumers and a wide variety of eye catching digital assets were created to accompany promotional posts shared by the partners and supporters of the campaign, using the #InTheLoop tag of course.

Swansea #InTheLoop

"We already work with many local businesses in Swansea to provide commercial waste recycling services so businesses can recycle more in the workplace. Anything more that can be done to capture more waste for recycling and divert it away from landfill should be welcomed and taken advantage of.” Cllr Mark Thomas Cabinet Member for Environment & Infrastructure Management at Swansea Council

40% reduction in contamination

After only running for one month, the first collection statistics revealed an incredible 40% reduction in contamination! This only goes to prove that habits can change fast, with the right infrastructure and messaging in place.

Created with Hubbub

This project was made possible by our partnership with Hubbub, a charity that creates environmental campaigns with a difference.
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Hubbub is an environmental charity that uses the latest thinking backed by academic research to explore new ways to run behaviour change campaigns. The charity explores innovative and fun ways to interest mainstream consumers in important sustainability issues, through different ‘hubs’ of activity - Food, Fashion, Homes, and Neighbourhoods.

Hubbub’s previous campaigns have included #SquareMileChallenge, the UK’s first large scale solution to coffee cup recycling, #GiftABundle to get pre-loved baby clothes back into circulation and #PumpkinRescue to encourage more people to eat the carvings from their Halloween Pumpkins.

Their exclusive collaboration with Ecosurety will see two consumer-facing campaigns a year, funded by producer responsibility compliance evidence money, created and executed by Hubbub. The partnership between Ecosurety and Hubbub will also see regular canvassing of opinion from obligated producers and recyclers about which issues or campaigns should be prioritised across producer responsibility compliance.

Want to get involved?

If you are a major brand concerned about on-the-go recycling, or a local business in Swansea interested in getting involved, it is not too late - please click the button below to find out how you can play a part too. The strength of this project is collaboration, and together we can not only make a tangible difference in Swansea, but provide a blueprint for rolling out successful on-the-go recycling infrastructure and partnerships in other cities.
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"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." Gavin Ellis Co-founder and Director, Hubbub