Motorists near Maidstone will soon be able to claim discounts on snacks and drinks by placing empty plastic bottles and coffee cups into special recycling reward machines that are being installed at the town’s motorway service station by green charity Hubbub.
The machines issue a 5p money-off voucher for each plastic bottle or coffee cup deposited as part of the charity’s #DriveDownLitter campaign to encourage road users to dispose of their waste responsibly.
In addition, a range of other recycling bins are now in place at both Maidstone and Folkestone Services, in a bid to target holidaymakers and lorry drivers on their way both to and from France, Hubbub said.
The aim is to make it as easy as possible for drivers to responsibly recycle their waste items, including lorry drivers who will be able to use new “giant” funnel bins without having to leave the cabs of their vehicles, the charity explained.
Litter on motorways and close to service stations harms wildlife and its removal is estimated to cost around £6m a year, according to Highways England. Moreover, it can cause accidents when thrown from vehicles, with as many as 22,000 accidents caused by litter reported in England in one year.
If the 6-month pilot proves successful, Hubbub hopes to expand the initiative and potentially roll out the recycling reward bins across England’s 1,800 miles of motorways, said the charity’s CEO Trewin Restorick.
“Litter by our motorways is an eyesore, harms wildlife and is expensive and dangerous to remove,” he said. “#DriveDownLitter brings together a unique partnership of organisations exploring whether we can change habits and cut littering. The campaign will see the introduction of the UK’s first reward scheme for people who recycle their coffee cups and plastic bottles at service stations, plus an array of new bins making it easier for drivers of all vehicles to bin their rubbish.”
The campaign has the backing of a number of partners including Highways England, oil giant Shell, coffee chain Costa Express, motorway services operator Roadchef, and the 13 local councils which form part of the Kent Resource Partnership.
Highways England service delivery manager Wayne Moore said it collected around 200,000 bags of litter from motorways across the country each year, equating to around 500 bags a day.
“Litter isn’t just unsightly – it can block drains and harm wildlife,” he said. “Picking it up puts road workers in harm’s way and is a distraction from other vital work they could be doing. So I’d urge road users to dispose of their litter responsibly.”
Source – BusinessGreen
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