Bubble-blowing bins and an eye-catching art installation will appear in Edinburgh City Centre from today [Tuesday 22 October], as a new on-the-go recycling initiative is launched by environmental charity Hubbub, the City of Edinburgh Council and Changeworks.

The Our Edinburgh #InTheLoop campaign is a five-month trial which will allow people passing through the city centre to recycle plastic drinks bottles, cans and coffee cups on the go for the first time.

Whilst recycling at home and kerbside collections have improved over the years, the rate of recycling on-the-go is still low. In the UK around 5.5 billion plastic bottles, 2.7 billion drinks cans and 2.5 billion coffee cups get thrown away every year. 

Head of Projects Sam Mills from Changeworks said: “We’re excited to be working with Hubbub to deliver this campaign, combining their creativity and our 30 years’ experience in delivering local solutions for low carbon living across Scotland. 

“Disposing of packaging on the go can be really challenging. 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.”

The #InTheLoop campaign arriving in Edinburgh follows a successful similar campaign in Leeds, with Swansea also playing home to these new bins. In Leeds on-the-go recycling rates doubled, from 17 per cent to 32 per cent, in just six months.

After the success of the campaign there, Hubbub has teamed up with the City of Edinburgh Council and Changeworks to blend their creativity and success with local knowledge and experience.

As part of the campaign an art installation, using recycled plastic bottles, drinks cans and coffee cups, has been installed in St Andrew Square. The piece, created by Scotland-based artists Sam Cornwell and Cody Lukas, will light up at night – thanks to solar panels of course.

Transport and Environment Convenor for The City of Edinburgh Council, Councillor Lesley Macinnes,said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with Hubbub on this project, which will help us to explore ways of encouraging recycling on the go and plan for the future impact of the Deposit Return Scheme. 

“As a Council we are committed to increasing recycling rates amongst residents and visitors, and as we’ve seen from previous work with Hubbub, their innovative approach to behaviour change has made a real impact on the public.”