BID Updates - Enhancing

Happy Earth Day, Bristol: City’s recycling rates up by 29%

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Bristol are ahead of the game for reaching Earth Day targets for 2040 in line with this year’s theme of Plastics vs. the Planet


BID Lead
Tom Swithinbank

Earth Day takes place on Monday 22nd April, and businesses in Bristol are playing their part to reduce waste in line with this year’s theme, Planet vs. Plastics. 

Bristol City Centre BID and Redcliffe & Temple BID are central to the city’s sustainability efforts, hosting numerous projects enabling businesses to take practical steps towards a greener future.


Earth Day is calling for a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040, uniting people and businesses alike to take action. The organisation’s ambitious goals align with the BIDs achievements, with businesses seeing recycling rates increase by 29% since 2018 through its Waste Management Partnership.

The collaboration has seen Bristol City Centre BID partner with waste reduction giants Veolia. Since the introduction of this collaboration, Veolia Waste Contract prices have been frozen, and in this time recycling rates in the city centre have almost doubled, rising from 34% to 63%.

Alongside recycling and waste reduction goals, the BIDs are working alongside Bristol City Council to reduce vehicle movement around the city. In an effort to improve air quality and reduce congestion, the BIDs established a Cargo Bikes for Business’ scheme in February this year. The scheme encourages businesses to use Cargo bikes to transport goods such as food and drink, rather than lorries and vans. The scheme benefits both businesses wanting to reach their sustainability targets as well as those whose delivery schedules have altered since the introduction of the Clean Air Zone.

Earth Day 2024 calls for the phasing out of all single use plastics, and Redcliffe & Temple has been making movements towards this with its Bring Your Own Lunchbox initiative. The scheme encourages Temple Quay and Finzels Reach Market customers to bring along their own reusable lunch boxes to help reduce the number of single-use plastic containers wasted at market stalls. Offices in the Redcliffe & Temple area are also being encouraged to store lunch boxes in their kitchens, in preparation for those heading out to the market.

The BIDs also aim to improve sustainability and the environment in a number of creative ways. In 2023, the BIDs created two wildflower meadows alongside Avon Wildlife Trust. The diversity of different flowers provide nectar and pollen for a wide variety of pollinators, helping to reverse the decline in insect numbers and biodiversity that are part of the ecological emergency. The BIDs has also added over 50 colourful planters to locations including the Brunel Mile, the Old City, Park Street and in various sites of the city’s hospital to add greenery and colour.

Tom Swithinbank, Project Manager for Public Realm and Sustainability at Bristol City Centre BID and Redcliffe & Temple BID, said:

“The results of our work and our partnership with Veolia are an incredible step in the right direction. Businesses have been extremely receptive to making positive changes towards sustainability. This Earth Day, we’re aiming to further educate businesses on the simple but effective changes they can make to propel Bristol further into a more sustainable future. Our partnership with Bristol Climate and Nature Partnership is further helping us to support businesses across the city to develop their climate action plans, allowing us to take another collaborative step towards a more sustainable future in Bristol.”

To learn more about the BIDs sustainability projects, head to Tom Swithinbank’s project pages on the Redcliffe & Temple BID and Bristol City Centre BID websites. If you have an area that you would like to put forward for greening, please send your details and information about the area to




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