Retailers and manufactures have joined forces in a bid to improve the recycling of on-the-go food and drink under a new pilot partnership in Leeds.

The #LeedsByExample initiative, launched by environmental charity Hubbub and recycling compliance scheme Ecosurety, will use new technology, recycling facilities and communication activities to try and improve recycling rates in the city centre. The trial will run for six months from September, in conjunction with Leeds City Council.

Large brands, businesses and industry bodies including Asda, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), British Plastics Federation, Coca-Cola GB, Costa, the Co-op, Danone, Morrisons, PepsiCo and Shell are among those that have backed the initiative.

The results of the trial could lead to a national roll-out of the most successful elements from the scheme.

The initiative will also be the first UK trial of an app developed by OPRL, which will use on-pack barcodes to help shoppers understand what and how to recycle with a map to find their nearest recycling points.

Hubbub director and co-founder Gavin Ellis said: “We know that the public want to do the right thing and recycle as much as they can, but are often confused as to how to do this or simply don’t have access to the recycling facilities they need while they’re out and about.

“It’s fantastic to have the backing of this broad group of businesses to help make this possible. There is also an important role to play for local businesses. We’ll be providing subsidised recycling bins, communications support and advice and would love to hear from any Leeds businesses interested in getting involved.”

Ecosurety managing director James Piper said: “Whilst recycling on-the-go can seem a complex issue to tackle, we believe that simple infrastructure improvements and clear communication could make a huge difference to recycling rates and to litter. We hope that by demonstrating there are alternative ways of collecting and dealing with recycling, we can inspire other parts of the UK to follow suit.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman added: “Improving recycling rates and making responsible environmental choices are a top priority for convenience retailers, with stores already playing their part in reducing the amount of plastic bags handed out through a nationwide voluntary charging scheme. We are contributing time and money to the #LeedsByExample pilot, because we want to explore the most effective ways of tackling the waste generated by food-to-go packaging, coffee cups and plastic bottles.”