Motorists offered discount for recycling cups to ‘clean up’ UK motorway

18/06/2018 - 08:58
A new recycling scheme is launching on UK motorways this Thursday (21 June), which will see motorists rewarded 5p discount vouchers for every plastic coffee cup/bottle they insert into the special bins.

Run by environmental charity Hubbub, the #DriveDownLitter campaign will initially be trialled in Kent (as it’s busy with holidaymakers and lorry drivers), and is backed by Highways England, Shell, Costa Express, Roadchef and the 13 Kent councils to “promote a culture where littering is not accepted,” Councillor Rory Love, Kent resource partnership chairman said.

To allow all motorists (including lorry drivers) to dump their junk without leaving their vehicle and “encourage road users to dispose of their rubbish responsibly,” funnel bins will also be available.

If successful, the scheme will be rolled out across the country in a bid to “clean up the motorway network” - currently costing an estimated £6 million a year.

Hubbub chief executive, Trewin Restorick, commented: “Litter by our motorways is an eyesore, harms wildlife and is expensive and dangerous to remove.

“#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.” 

Wayne Moore, Highways England service delivery manager, added: “Each year we collect around 200,000 bags of litter from the motorways across the country – around 500 a day.

“Litter isn’t just unsightly; it can block drains and harm wildlife. 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.

"We are pleased to support this great campaign, which should help reduce litter on our roads. Litter is a particular issue close to service stations, which is why we are working closely with the service station owners and our partners on a number of initiatives to tackle litter."

Gill Tysoe, Roadside Nature Reserve Officer for Kent Wildlife Trust, said: “It saddens us when we come across a discarded bottle on the roadside, which at first appears to be full of sludge, but on closer inspection often reveals up to a dozen or more dead mammals – most commonly wood mice, voles and shrews. It is believed that they enter the bottles out of curiosity or in search of food but then become trapped and probably die from cold or starvation. We must all strive to dispose of our rubbish sensibly.”

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