Modern life is seemingly defined by rush, between the bustle of work and a social life most of us spend a huge amount of time on the move. This means that going home for lunch (or remembering to bring one) isn’t always the top of our list.

The demand for food and drink bought when we’re out and about has gone up massively, the UK’s ‘food to go’ sector was worth £17.4bn in 2017 and is predicted to be worth £23.5bn by 2022. We are buying loads more pre-packaged sandwiches, salads and plastic bottles of water than ever before and while it’s super convenient it also means we are creating a lot of rubbish.

Because this change is happening rapidly there aren’t a huge number of places that have on-street recycling to collect our rubbish. Even when there are recycling bins, contamination of recycling can be a massive problem because there is no way of regulating or checking what’s being put in there. Once a bag is contaminated it can mean a huge amount of recyclable material ends up going to landfill instead of being reused.

To try and work out how we might be able to increase the rates of recycling on the go Hubbub have launched #LeedsByExample, a brand new trial in Leeds testing loads of different ways to make on street recycling easy and effective. It might be a few months until we figure out what works but until then here are a few things you can do to make sure that you can eat out and protect the planet at the same time.

1. Wait for the right bin

If you can’t see a recycling bin anywhere the best thing you can do is hold onto your recyclables until you get back to home or a place where there is one.

2. Don't bin the bottle

Plastic bottles and cans are really easy to recycle so these are the ones to focus on when you’re out and about.

3. Recycle in store

Coffee cups can’t be recycled in normal recycling streams at the moment but you can take them into any Costa, McDonald's or Starbucks and they’ll recycle them for you! Regular coffee drinker? Why not switch to a reusable coffee cup. It's better for the planet and will make your coffees cheaper too! Check out our guide for finding the perfect match here.

4. Keep food out 

Food and drink that finds its way into the recycling bin can be a real problem as it is can contaminate the rest of the recycling in the bin.  If you can’t finish the food you’ve bought then the best thing to do (other than keep hold of it as a tasty treat when you’re hungry later) is to put the food in the normal bin, and the packaging in the recycling bin.

Keep up with the #LeedsByExample on the go recycling campaign here and stay tuned for a brand new vlog all about it next week.