Scotland’s first coffee cup recycling scheme launched in Glasgow

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Sam Doak
Deputy News Editor

Keep Scotland Beautiful has announced a new scheme aimed at curbing the environmental impact of single-use cups. According to the group, the Glasgow-based scheme, which has been named the Cup Movement, will be the first of its kind in the UK. It will reportedly work towards its goal both by advocating for changes in consumer habits and through coordinating with local businesses in an effort to improve infrastructure to better accommodate the recycling of single-use cups.

The Cup Movement has received funding from the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council as well as Keep Scotland Beautiful, the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG). The scheme is to be jointly run by Keep Scotland Beautiful and the PCRRG.

Keep Scotland Beautiful’s role in the Cup Movement will be to oversee efforts to encourage changes in consumer habits relating to single-use cups. The charity will also work with local authorities and private businesses to increase the number of disposable cup collection points across the city. In addition to this, the PCRRG will work with its members to encourage the installation of collection points within their Glasgow stores. Members of the PCRRG include McDonalds, Starbucks UK, Pret A Manger and Costa. Under current plans, cups are to be collected from recycling points by Simply Cups, a business that specialises in recycling single-use cups into non-disposable products.

It has been estimated that 95 million disposable cups are used in Glasgow every year. Due both to a prevalent belief amongst consumers that paper cups cannot be recycled and a lack of suitable recycling facilities, a large proportion of these end up in landfills. It is hoped that by improving recycling facilities, educating consumers and encouraging the use of reusable cups the amount of waste caused by this sector can be significantly reduced.

The Cup Movement initiative has been welcomed by both the Glasgow City Council and The Scottish Government. Roseanna Cunningham, Scotland’s Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change, and Land Reform, said: “I am delighted to be supporting the Cup Movement in Glasgow. With up to 500 million single-use cups being used in Scotland every year, we all need to do our bit to make sure they don’t end up littering our streets and our seas. Tackling our reliance on throwaway cups and encouraging people to make the right choices are important steps in helping build a sustainable future for Scotland.”