Exhibition highlights shocking cup and bottle waste in Scotland

Thousands visit our exciting exhibit #SipDontTip in the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow on the 24 and 25 October highlighting the issues of litter and waste associated with single use beverage containers.

The exhibit aimed to raise awareness of the issues linked to our relationship with drinks packaging and to promote a step change in everyday consumption and disposal habits. Single use drinks containers are an almost inescapable part of modern life, and the exhibition aimed to shock visitors with the amount of litter and waste associated with these.  With drinks related litter noticed by 55% of people in their community and our recent audits highlighting that 74% of roads are spoilt by drinks related litter – we know it is a huge problem.

The centre piece exhibit was created by respected Littoral:sci-art project artist Julia Barton, depicting a massive sculpture made from coffee cups – highlighting the 208million single use coffee cups we use in Scotland each year. 

Other exhibits were selected through two competitions – one for school pupils from Greater Glasgow and a second for members of the community from across Scotland.  The engaging displays highlighted the difficulties associated with recycling paper cups and plastic bottles, but also the impact that littered items have on our environment.

Five school finalists were selected from 24 entries, for display as part of the exhibition and Sunnyside Primary School was presented with first place for its campaign #NaeStrawAtAw, with St Monica’s Primary School coming a close second with its entry.   Three community entry images were also on display, and the overall winner was from a member of Milngavie in Bloom, with a striking photo entitled ‘the morning after the night before’.

Working in partnership with industry, Simply Cups and RECOUP provided information and installations to showcase the recycling journey of both coffee cups and plastic bottles in to other useful items which were on display.

Visitors, from Scotland and further afield, were promoted to share their thoughts on single use drinks containers and pose potential solutions to the growing issue.  More critically, they were asked to commit to changing their behaviour following the exhibit.  The results will be summarised and shared in due course.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful commented, “The exhibition has not only helped to raise the profile of the issue of single use drinks containers in Glasgow with businesses, institutions and local communities, but we also believe that, from discussions we have had with a wide range of organisations, including  Paper Cup Recycling and Recovery Group (PCRRG) and retailers like COSTA, the Food Packaging Association (FPA) and it will create a robust platform to develop a range of further interventions around single use drinks containers.

“We will continue to explore new ways of changing the behaviour of those that cause harm to our environment, and are keen to work with industry to provide innovative and appropriate business solutions.”

25 October 2017

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