Grant Fund Announced To Scale Paper Cup Recycling Across The UK

Environmental charity, Hubbub, has announced the launch of The Cup Fund, to kickstart paper cup recycling programmes in locations across the U.K. The Cup Fund will support at least 10 large-scale recycling  programmes, offering grants of between £50,000 and  £100,000 based on the specific needs of each application to develop long term infrastructure and ensure cups are collected and sent for recycling.

The ability to recycle paper cups has moved on considerably over the last two years and there is now enough capacity in the U.K. to recycle all of the paper cups we use. However, the cups can’t be recycled with normal paper and cardboard due to the plastic lining that stops hot drinks from leaking, so they need to be collected separately. More recycling points are needed to collect  the cups as well as clear  communication to help the public recycle effectively, as remains of drinks and tea bags can spoil whole batches of recycling.

The launch of The Cup Fund invites applications from a range of organisations wanting to increase infrastructure but lacking funding, including local authorities, recycling companies, property owners and social enterprises to come forward.

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.

The Cup Fund is financed by Starbucks, who introduced a 5p charge on paper cups in 2018,  to encourage customers to increase their use  of reusable cups and  avoid the charge. Starbucks ensures all proceeds are donated to Hubbub to carry out environmental projects that increase recycling as well as behaviour change studies to understand more about consumer behaviour including barriers to more people using a reusable cup.

The instore  charge has  seen reusable cup  use  increase from 1.8%  nationwide to over 5%  of all hot drinks sold.  Instore  cup  recycling  is also  offered  in over 350 Starbucks stores across Britain, in a scheme that means any brand of cup can be brought back to be recycled.

Applicants can apply for The Cup Fund at  Applications are open until 24 May 2019.

Winning schemes will be selected by an independent panel consisting of experts in recycling and infrastructure, including The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) and the Chartered Institution  of Wastes Management (CIWM). As well as financial funding,  Hubbub will provide ongoing guidance and advice to the winning programmes to help them deliver infrastructure with a long term  benefit.

Jaz Rabadia MBE, UK senior manager of energy and sustainability, said: “Being part of The Cup  Fund with Hubbub is a significant  step for us in how  we are trying to reduce the impact  of paper  cups taken  outside of our stores. 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 that we’ll be trialling in London next year.”

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