We started Hubbub four years ago, aiming to take a fresh approach to environmental campaigning by engaging a mainstream audience. We started with £25,000 and a set of clear principles:

  1. To talk to people about things they are passionate about; the food they eat, the clothes they wear, their homes and neighbourhoods.
  2. To collaborate with organisations that share our ambitions.
  3. To measure impact and share results, good and bad, so that others can avoid mistakes and replicate the best bits.
  4. To not be concerned if organisations copy our ideas without acknowledging our role. Delivering positive change is more important than organisational recognition.

We had no idea where these principles would take us and the initial months were exceedingly challenging financially, but gradually a growing number of companies expressed a desire to collaborate and together we have created a portfolio of activities which we couldn’t have dreamt of at the early outset. Weirdly the letter ‘B’ has been a consistent link between these disparate activities.

Bins

We know the importance of nudging people to do the right thing. We have discovered that putting playful messaging on bins is a great way to cut littering and increase recycling. We have sold over 900 cigarette Ballot Bins across the world, helping to cut the blight of cigarette littering. Our playful bins have reduced littering in Edinburgh, Manchester and along the River Thames.

We have started to design iconic recycling bins. Our bright yellow coffee cup bins were used to signal the launch of the Square Mile Challenge which has successfully recycled just under 5 million cups disposable coffee cups from the heart of London.

In the early summer look out for massive funnel bins designed to make it easier for HGV lorry drivers to dispose of their rubbish. Recycling reward machines will be introduced at a service station to cut roadside littering.

Boats

We have built Poly-Mer, a boat made from 99% recycled plastic including 8,000 plastic bottles collected at the London ‘Ride’ event. Poly-Mer is being used to take children and business employees on Plastic Fishing trips, helping to clean the waterways around Docklands. A second boat is being built and will be launched late summer.

Boxes

In the Forest of Dean our Trashconvertor van proved a great way to highlight the cost and impact of littering in the ancient woodland. The Trashconvertor concept proved successful but having a van was expensive and logistically challenging. Our design team explored a new approach. The result is the purchase of a Horse Box which is currently being renovated and will be hitting the forest this summer.

Batteries

One of our biggest challenges was to create a campaign that made battery recycling exciting. Our solution was ‘Bring Back Heavy Metal’ delivered in partnership with a range of businesses and through a series of mock rock videos and infographics. The result was a significant increase in batteries recycled – but still not sufficient to hit our European target.

Bikes

The concept of Community Fridges has really taken-off. Over 30 Fridge/Freezers are now established across the UK helping to redistribute healthy perishable food that would have been wasted with each fridge redistributing an average of 0.5 tonnes a month.

To make it easier for retailers to redistribute food we are planning to purchase some electric cargo bikes that will visit retailers taking the food that they have directly to the local Community Fridge for redistributing to local families.

It has been an amazing first four years during which we have learnt a huge amount and developed an eclectic range of campaigns. What has been common to them all is to view each challenge with an open mind, to gain insight into what drivers are likely to change behaviour and to then use innovative design to bring ideas to life.