Over the last 20 years the prestigious National Recycling Awards have recognised and celebrated those making a difference in the recycling and waste management industry.
This week it was announced that the uniquely collaborative on-the-go recycling campaign #LeedsByExample has been recognised with awards for both Partnership excellence - Public/Private sector, and Campaign of the year - over £20k, at the National Recycling Awards.
#LeedsByExample launched in October 2018, when Ecosurety and behaviour change charity Hubbub joined forces with an unprecedented collaboration including 26 Funding Partners, Leeds City Council, Zero Waste Leeds and 29 Local Partners to trial a range of innovative ways to improve rates of recycling on-the-go in the city of Leeds.
The reason for the campaign is that whilst home-based recycling rates have steadily increased over the last few years, recycling on-the-go figures have not. It is a significant problem with 2.5 billion coffee cups, 13 billion plastic bottles and 9 billion drinks cans disposed of each year.
Widespread industry support
An impressive spread of new recycling points were installed across the city, and combined with in-store take back of coffee cups, #LeedsByExample ensured that consumers would be no more than 5 minutes walk from a recycling point.
The campaign secured the support from across industry, including Alupro, Asda, Association of Convenience Stores, Ball Beverage Packaging Europe, British Plastics Federation, Bunzl, Coca-Cola GB, Costa, Co-op, Crown Packaging, Danone, Highland Spring, Innocent, Klöckner Pentaplast (kp), Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Marks and Spencer, McDonald’s, Morrisons, PepsiCo UK, Pret A Manger, Starbucks and Shell. The campaign was also supported by WRAP and OPRL.
The full #LeedsByExample impact report was released in December 2019 to share the key learning and results.
Importantly the legacy of #LeedsByExample extended far beyond the city, as it developed into the #InTheLoop campaign that has rolled out to even more cities across the UK, including Swansea, which brought the first on-street coffee cup bins to Wales, and Edinburgh, which previously had no on-street recycling bins at all.
A transformative impact
Trewin Restorick, CEO and founder of Hubbub commented “We are delighted that the judges for the National Recycling Awards highlighted the level of collaboration between companies, local authorities and community groups that has enabled Leeds By Example to deliver a transformative impact on high street recycling rates.”
“The ambition of the Leeds campaign was to openly share independently evaluated successes and challenges with other local authorities so that they could learn from the experiment. The award judges applauded this openness which has helped the campaign to expand to other cities including Swansea, Edinburgh and Dublin’.
Setting the standard
Ecosurety marketing manager Stephanie Housty commented “The National Recycling Awards are a wonderful recognition of the unique impact that #LeedsByExample has realised, not only for the improvements to on-the-go recycling but also the open and honest sharing of learnings and cross-industry collaboration."
"We are proud to have played a part in setting this standard and in seeing the legacy continue to spread to other major cities across the whole of the UK.”
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Marketing projects specialist
Ben joined the team at the beginning of 2015 and helps drive marketing communications and projects for Ecosurety, including project managing the launch of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and website content development.