Retail partnership creates recycling heroes

Retail partnership creates recycling heroes

May 25, 2018
New bottle banks at Lidl's store in Halton, Leeds

British Glass has been working with Leeds City Council and Lidl to help a local community smash recycling targets by putting an extra six tonnes into local glass banks. Under its consumer-facing Friends of Glass brand, British Glass helped promote new glass banks at the Lidl store in Halton by rewarding recycling heroes through a social media competition.

Glass packaging is 100% recyclable, yet more than 15,000 tonnes of it went into general waste in Leeds last year. That glass could have been remelted indefinitely – reducing CO2 emissions and saving energy and raw materials.

Household glass is collected at glass banks, not kerbside, in Leeds. This captures glass with lower contamination than mixed material collections, but there is a trade-off in convenience and awareness.

That’s where retailers can make a practical and positive contribution to increasing recycling.

Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Active Lifestyles, Councillor Rafique, explains:

“Glass banks need to be visible and convenient. Retail sites are perfect – so we make sure people know which stores provide them.”

The promotion of three new banks at Lidl’s branch in Halton included flyers delivered to 10,000 homes and outdoor advertising within one mile of the store, as well as in-store roadshows, press coverage and a social media competition.

Councillor Rafique said:

“Local targeting meant people couldn’t miss it – and highlighted how Lidl is supporting its community. Disposing of glass in household bins cost the city more than £1.5million last year: by helping us increase recycling Lidl has helped bring environmental and economic benefit.”

The total glass captured from all banks within one mile of the store in March 2018 was up six tonnes on the same period in the previous two years – showing the new banks have captured additional glass, not just diverted it. Ongoing results from a similar campaign in spring 2017, with Marks and Spencer in the Moortown area of Leeds, has shown a lasting positive impact on the amount of glass collected.

British Glass Senior Communications Officer Victoria Adams said:

“British Glass members want to use more recycled material for glass manufacturing. Being able to work with a local authorities and retailers is invaluable for us to be able to make sure people realise that glass should never be waste! We’d love to hear from any retailers who would be interested in hosting glass banks anywhere in the UK.”

There are more than 700 glass banks across Leeds, and residents can find their nearest by visiting or downloading the handy Leeds Bins app.


To find out more about Leeds City Council waste and recycling visit 

British Glass communicates the glass sector’s value and interests – as well as fostering collaboration and innovation – to secure a thriving, sustainable future for glass. Its membership includes companies from across the whole glass supply chain.

Friends of Glass is a pan-European community uniting those who believe glass is the clear choice for themselves, their families and for the environment. Friends of Glass UK is managed by British Glass. Find out more at