For the first time in the UK, motorists will be able to claim money off their snacks and drinks by putting empty plastic bottles and coffee cups in new 'recycling reward' machines. The machines will issue a 5p money-off voucher for each item deposited and are part of Hubbub’s new #DriveDownLitter campaign, encouraging road users to dispose of their rubbish responsibly. Removing litter from motorways is estimated to cost £6 million a year, with more than 200,000 sacks of refuse collected annually – that’s an average of 111 bags collected from each mile of motorway.

#DriveDownLitter is a continuation of Hubbub’s attempts to explore new ways to prevent littering and boost recycling rates across the UK. Collaboration is at the heart of our activities and #DriveDownLitter has been created with the involvement of Highways England, Road Chef, Costa Express, Shell and the Kent Resources Partnership.

In addition to the recycling reward machines, which will be installed at Maidstone Services in Kent, a range of other bins will be in place at both Maidstone and Folkestone Services, which are key stop-offs for holidaymakers and lorry drivers travelling to and from France. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for everyone to get rid of their rubbish, including lorry drivers who will be able to use new giant funnel bins without having to leave their cabs.

The campaign will run until November 2018 and the impact will be independently evaluated. Baseline data on the amount of litter around this part of the M20 and in the two locations has already been collected. This measurement will be repeated at the end of the campaign.

Hubbub’s intention is that the collected data will help to inform wider policy. The recycling reward machines will discover whether they act as an incentive to increased collection of recyclable material. We will be able to assess the level of contamination of the materials collected and discover where the coffee cups and bottles would have ended up if they hadn’t been put in the machines.

The giant funnel bins are part of Highways England’s on-going assessment of the impact they can have on reducing littering from lorry drivers. The bins have been positioned so that they can be easily used by both right-hand and left-hand driven vehicles.

High profile branding and nudge messaging is being placed around both sites encouraging drivers to dispose of their rubbish carefully highlighting that dropping litter causes delays, is expensive to collect from busy motorways, is an eyesore and harms wildlife. This messaging includes a new installation by artist Michelle Reader featuring litter flowers and a litter hedgehog which is one of the animals affected by roadside litter.

Hubbub will keep people informed of progress through the #DriveDownLitter hashtag and we will openly share results – good and bad – on completion of the campaign.