New funding to perk up paper cup recycling nationwide

The Cup Fund is offering grants for at least 10 projects to develop infrastructure and ensure tea and coffee cups are collected and sent for recycling

A new initiative to kickstart large-scale paper tea and coffee cup recycling programmes across the UK has been announced.

The Cup Fund, delivered by environmental charity Hubbub and funded by Starbucks, aims to support at least 10 projects, offering grants of between £50,000 and £100,000, to develop long term infrastructure and ensure cups are collected and sent for recycling.

Most cups have a plastic lining that prevents hot drinks from leaking, which means they need to be collected separately from other paper goods.

Therefore, specific cup recycling points as well as “clear communication” are needed to help people recycle easily.

Starbucks introduced a 5p charge on paper cups last year to encourage customers to use reusable cups, with all proceeds donated to Hubbub to carry out environmental projects.

The levy is said to have increased the use of reusable cups from 1.8% nationwide to more than 5% of all hot drinks sold.

Hubbub is inviting applications until 24th May 2019 for the funding – it will also provide ongoing guidance and advice to the winning projects.

Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder of Hubbub said: “We know that local authorities and building managers are committed to achieving their recycling targets but with increased strain on their budgets, investing in infrastructure is difficult.

“The launch of The Cup Fund with Starbucks means we will be able to collect cups in significant volumes in areas where there may not have been any drop off points before. We’re looking for ambitious large-scale projects that will transform cup recycling in high footfall areas.”

Jaz Rabadia, UK Senior Manager of Energy and Sustainability at Starbucks added being part of the project is a “significant step” for the company in reducing the impact of paper cups outside its stores.

She said: “For us, it’s about three things when it comes to cups – getting more customers to bring in a reusable cup when they visit us, recycling those that are used and also looking at alternative materials to plastic that future cups could be made from and we’ll be trialling those in London next year.”

Instore cup recycling is offered at Starbucks stores across Britain, which allows customers to recycle cups from any brand.

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