Almost 2.1 million cans, plastic and glass bottles and coffee cups have been collected and recycled across three pilot projects in Leeds, Swansea and Edinburgh.
The 44.5 tonnes of waste collected is equivalent to the weight of 20 adult rhinos – part of the rubbish collected was used to create a sculpture to raise awareness of the issue.
The initiatives, launched by the environmental charity Hubbub, aimed to tackle the problem of ‘on-the-go’ waste.
According to the figures, this type of waste has one of the biggest environmental impacts in the UK – an estimated total of 25 billion plastic bottles, cans and coffee cups are used every year.
Of these, around 11 billion don’t get recycled, meaning they go to landfill. That translates to approximately 8,000 materials every minute.
Gavin Ellis, Co-Founder and Director of Hubbub, said: “The 2.1 million materials we’ve recycled in the trial stages have saved the carbon dioxide equivalent of taking 78 return flights from London Heathrow to New York.
“Imagine what more we could do with more councils on board. We’d really like to hear from other local authorities keen to tackle these issues.”