With the aim of recycling half a million cups in April, workers in the City of London are being urged to use new recycling points in order to tackle the issue of coffee cup recycling.
Some of the biggest companies in the country are joining forces with environmental charity Hubbub and recycling company, Simply Cups.
The Square Mile Challenge is to introduce special coffee cup recycling facilities across the square mile and could collect five million cups by the end of the year.
Over 100 retailers are offering recycling facilities in stores and will take in cups from other brands and shops.
Shaped like bright yellow coffee cups, the Square Mile Challenge bins will be situated all over the city. A map of their locations can be found here.
Gavin Ellis, Co-founder of Hubbub, said:
We are delighted that so many organisations, including the local authority, Network Rail and businesses that are usually in competition with each other, are collaborating to tackle this issue. We hope that other parts of the UK will follow suit and eventually reach a point where recycling levels for coffee cups are on a par with those for drinks cans and bottles.
“It would be easy to suggest that everyone should use reusable cups for our hot drinks, but the reality is that disposable cups are being used in their millions and so we have to deliver a solution to this issue.
Alongside their participation in the development of recycling solutions, it’s great to see that many retailers are also now providing discounts for customers using reusable cups and are investigating finding long-term solutions to ensure cups can be more widely recycled in the UK”.
Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said:
Until now there has been no consistent, reliable way to recycle coffee cups in the heart of London and so the Square Mile Challenge is a big step forward.
We’re committed to making London cleaner, reducing waste and boosting recycling. I hope this scheme is a success and will encourage local authorities and businesses to start recycling coffee cups across the capital.”
The initiative has been made possible with the support of coffee retailers: Caffè Nero, Costa, Marks & Spencer, McDonald’s, Nestlé, Pret A Manger, Starbucks, Bunzl Catering Supplies and coffee cup manufacturers: Benders Paper Cups, Dart Products Europe, Huhtamaki and SEDA International Packaging Group.
It follows the launch of the Paper Cup Manifesto in June 2016, which garnered over 40 signatories from companies involved in the coffee industry, committing to improve recovery and increase recycling of paper cups.
Every day up to seven million coffee cups are thrown away across the UK, with less than 1% of these cups thought to be recycled.