hubbub coffee cup recycling

Hubbub Co-Founder Gavin Ellis (right) and Mike Beere from Groundwork Manchester with one of the recycling bins

Waitrose is backing the first high street recycling scheme aimed at trying to get people to recycle their coffee cups.

The #1MoreShot campaign started in Manchester this week supported by Waitrose, Nestlé, Greggs, Caffé Nero, Costa, KFC, McDonald’s and Pret A Manger.

It is being run by the charity Hubbub which said only 1% of the 2.5 billion paper cups currently thrown away in the UK every year were recycled.

Waitrose gives away disposable paper cups with its free myWaitrose cardholders’ tea or coffee offer, and is trying to find a cup that can be more easily recycled.

A spokeswoman said it was keenly awaiting the results of Hubbub’s Manchester experiment.

“This innovative trial is in its early stages,” she said. “We are proud to sponsor it but await with interest the results before considering what our next steps might be.”

The experiment involves 11 giant coffee cup recycling bins being placed in Manchester’s busiest street, Oxford Road.

Hubbub estimated the experiment would see 20,000 paper cups recycled, collected and turned into 15,000 plastic flower pot holders to be used by its charity partner, Groundworks, in community gardens. If successful it wants to take the initiative to other towns and cities.

The experiment will also test a new technology which does away with the need for the plastic within the takeaway drinks cups to be removed before they can be recycled.

Instead, it will allow up to 40% of single-stream coffee cup waste to be shredded and mixed with other recycled plastic and made into useable pellets.

On behalf of the Paper Cup Manifesto group, Martin Kersh, executive director of the Foodservice Packaging Association, welcomed the bins as an example of collaboration by the paper cup supply chain.

“The industry is wholly determined to find solutions and would urge other UK local authorities to follow Manchester’s lead and collaborate with us.”

Hubbub co-founder Gavin Ellis said the initiative would test the recycling technology and the public’s will to separate out their coffee cups if bins were provided.

“If this is successful, it can be extended to other cities across the UK as a number of local authorities have already put their name forward,” he said.

The product designer, Dan Dicker from design company ashortwalk, said the technology had been developed with polymer experts, Nextek.

“We now hope that councils across the UK will adopt this technique as an answer to paper cup waste,” he said.