Coffee Cup Recycling Scheme Launches In London

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KwikSweep was thrilled to hear about the launch of the UK’s biggest ever coffee cup recycling scheme this month. We are committed to increasing recycling rates and disposing of waste responsibly, and it’s wonderful to learn that others are taking it as seriously as we are!

The brand new scheme aims to boost recycling rates of the notorious paper cups that thousands of people use every day for their morning coffee or afternoon tea. Large yellow bins will be placed in streets, businesses and train stations in an attempt to recycle 5m disposable cup by the end of the year.

The new scheme is taking place the square mile of the City of London, with more than 100 retailers and 30 different organisations involved, including big coffee retailers like Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Caffe Nero, Pret A Manger and McDonald’s. These businesses will have a yellow sticker in their windows, and will all offer full recycling facilities for these paper coffee cups, 2.5bn of which are used in the UK every year.

At Kwik Sweep, we’ve come across many office clearances where these coffee cups seem to be taking over. With just 1% of the total number of coffee cups actually being recycled, it was clear something had to be done.

Many of these cups can’t be thrown in with mixed recycling because they contain a plastic film on the inside – but the new bins will be for these coffee cups only, making it easier to dispose of your drinks container knowing that it won’t end up in landfill.

Recovered materials recycled responsibly

The collected cups will be put through a recycling process which can recover plastic or recovered fibres. These materials will be made into new products, which will then be donated to an exciting community project. An outdoor space and café is set to open in the City of London’s Square Mile next year, and the new products will be given to this new public space, free of charge.

Coffee cups in the spotlight

Paper cups have been in the spotlight for years, with many businesses launching high-profile recycling campaigns in an effort to divert these drinks containers away from regular waste bins. Costa Coffee recently launched a recycling scheme where customers were encouraged to leave their coffee cups in the store or pass them onto a member of staff, where they’d be pulped and turned into fibre products like coffee cup holders and egg boxes.

Former Environment Minister, Rory Stewart, also floated the idea that disposable coffee cups could be taxed just like plastic bags are now, in an effort to encourage people to bring their own refillable flasks or containers. Indeed, market leaders Starbucks now offer a discount to customers who bring their own container for their drinks, taking as much as 50p off the cost of their morning coffee.

There’s plenty going on in the fight to reduce the amount of discarded coffee cups floating around the UK’s waste system. Here at KwikSweep, we wholeheartedly support these schemes and encourage everyone to get involved as often as they can!

For all the latest recycling news and updates, keep following the KwikSweep blog!

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