Tubby the recycling dog made the world a better place by collecting plastic bottles

By Vicki Newman
tubby split image

Tubby the good boy was incredibly concerned about leaving behind a carbon paw print.

The Labrador worked very hard alongside his loving owner Sandra Gilmore (UK) to achieve a record for the most bottles recycled by a dog.

His environmental campaign was officially recognized in 2010, by which point he had helped recycle an estimated 26,000 plastic bottles.

tubby collected plastic bottles on his walks

It took Tubby just six years to rack up the impressive numbers.

He would collect discarded plastic bottles on his daily walks around Torfaen, Wales, crush them in his mouth and pass them to his owner, who would do the rest on his behalf.

Sandra told BBC: “Normally when you take a dog for a walk it's a ball or a stick. But we used to leave Tubby in the woods and he would come out with plastic bottles - full ones, empty ones, dirty ones, any sort.

tubby found fame thanks to his recycling

“He crushes them and he likes taking the top off them.

He loves his recycling. Unless he goes out and finds a bottle, he comes home moping.

Tubby tragically died in 2016 at the age of 13, but his legacy and record title live on.

Of course, he continued recycling after we awarded his record, and his owner believes he recycled as many as 50,000 bottles in his lifetime.

When Tubby died, Sandra told the South Wales Argus: “We were so devastated to lose Tubby - he meant so much to us and the local community and he had friends all over the world.

“He didn't let it all go to his head though as he was always the keenest, greenest recycling canine around with the smallest carbon paw print ever. He had a real nose for plastic bottles ever since he was a puppy.

tubby helped recycle thousands of bottles

He would dig them out from anywhere and go under bushes and even into water to fetch them. He was such a lovely dog and we miss him so, so much. 

“Our memories with him will last a lifetime but whenever we do feel sad that he's gone we start smiling again when glancing over at his certificate from [Guinness World Records].”

Tubby’s penchant for recycling earned him attention from around the world, and closer to home, he made TV appearances on BBC One’s The One Show, ITV and Channel 5.

tubby the recycling dog

He was also presented with a civic award by his local council and attended ‘litter roadshow’ events to teach children about recycling.

So next time you’re out and see a discarded plastic bottle on the ground, ask yourself, what would Tubby do?

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