February 2024


In The Loop: New toolkit and funding available to local authorities to boost recycling on-the-go

Environmental charity Hubbub has published its ‘In The Loop’ toolkit, an in-depth guide for local authorities on how to roll out successful recycling on-the-go campaigns and thereby increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill or incineration.

The toolkit, funded by environmental compliance scheme Ecosurety, brings together key learnings from #InTheLoop, the UK’s biggest collaborative approach to boost recycling on-the-go, which was first trialled in Leeds in 2018, followed by similar trials in Swansea, Edinburgh, Dublin, Wimbledon, Telford and Lambeth.

These areas tested a range of 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. Across these pilots, over 500 bins were installed and over 2.5 million plastic and glass bottles and cans were collected and recycled.

The results and learnings from the trials have been compiled into this new toolkit to act as a blueprint for other local authorities, and the online resource is packed with information, tips and downloadable templates and assets. Key recommendations include:  

  • Bright bins: Make the bins colourful and bright, so they’re easily visible and stand out on busy streets.
  • Be specific: Consider updating your bins with clear messaging. People are confused about what to put in the bin and ‘mixed recycling’ gets mixed results. People spend less than 2 seconds at a bin, so be concise and give clear instructions.
  • Bins need buddies: Don’t leave a recycling bin by itself. Place recycling bins next to general waste bins or use dual bins. Otherwise, general waste will end up contaminating your recycling.
  • Keep it positive and simple: Use positive, encouraging messages in your communications and avoid jargon. Repetition of these simple messages is key – we need to hear something 7 times on average before our behaviour changes.
  • Build a partnership: Work with the local partners to increase the opportunities for people to see and hear about the new campaign, whether that’s through in-store posters, social media posts or in-person events to raise awareness of the waste issue and the how to use the new bins.
  • 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 provides valuable and easy-to-implement advice to local authorities, for whom on-the-go waste continues to be a significant problem. It is estimated that 9 in 10 of us recycle at home compared to 4 in 10 who recycle on-the-go. 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.

To help local authorities roll out public recycling points and boost out of home recycling, the publication of the toolkit is supported by additional funding made available by The Coca-Cola Foundation.

New recycling bins in Brixton

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 the #InTheLoop toolkit in areas that include waterways, such as coastline, riverways, canals, docks or wetlands.

Grants of £25,0000 will be made available to each successful applicant. As well as the funding, Hubbub will provide ongoing support to successful applicants based on the charity’s expertise and experience in delivering recycling campaigns. The application deadline is at midnight 15 December 2022.

Gavin Ellis, co-founder of Hubbub, said: “Our new toolkit pulls together key insights from seven trials in a variety of UK locations that have taken place over the last four years.  Our ambition is for #InTheLoop to become a recognised and effective approach to out of home recycling that can be replicated throughout the UK and beyond. We hope sharing our results and learnings openly will be useful to local authorities looking to improve their recycling services.

 “We’re delighted that additional funding from The Coca Cola Foundation will help four local authorities to get started and put the toolkit into action to help boost recycling rates and reduce marine litter.”

 Stephanie Housty, Marketing & Sustainability Manager at Ecosurety said: “Four years after we joined forces with Hubbub to launch the #LeedsByExample campaign, we are thrilled to close the loop with #IntheLoop by funding this toolkit. Packed with useful tips and assets, it aims to inspire more locations to start or improve their own on-the-go recycling infrastructure.”

For more information on the grant funding and to access the In The Loop toolkit, visit or contact

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