Starbucks is funding an initiative to help increase rates of paper cup recycling through its 5p charge on paper cups.
The project, launched by environmental charity Hubbub, is offering grants of £50,000 to £100,000 to local authorities, recycling companies, property owners and social enterprises to fund the infrastructure and resources needed to encourage more recycling of single-use cups. Hubbub said despite there now being enough recycling facilities in the UK to recycle all paper cups, issues remain around collecting the cups and delivering them to these facilities.
The Cup Fund will see the grants used to establish at least 10 large-scale cup recycling programmes across the UK. These will be environmental projects that increase recycling, as well as behaviour change studies to understand more about consumer behaviour, including the barriers that stop more people using reusable cups.
Funding will be given based on the specific needs of each application to develop long-term infrastructure, and awarded by a panel including representatives from the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management.
Winners also receive ongoing guidance and advice from Hubbub.
Applications for the project opened today (11 April) and close on 24 May 2019.
The coffee shop chain introduced the charge on paper cups in 2018 to encourage customers to increase their use of reusable cups. Proceeds from this will be donated to Hubbub to fund the grants. It has also led to an increase in reusable cups from 1.8% nationwide to over 5% of all hot drinks sold in Starbucks stores.
“Being part of The Cup Fund is a significant step for us in how we are trying to reduce the impact of paper cups taken outside of our stores,” said Starbucks UK senior manager of energy and sustainability Jaz Rabadia. “For us, it’s about three things when it comes to cups: getting more customers to bring reusable cups when they visit us, recycling those that are used, and looking at alternative materials to plastic that future cups could be made from. We’ll be trialling those in London next year.”
Hubbub CEO and founder Trewin Restorick added: “We know local authorities and building managers are committed to achieving their recycling targets, but with increased strain on budgets, investing in infrastructure is difficult. The launch of The Cup Fund means we’ll 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.”