Thanks to a £300,000 investment made by Hubbub, London will gain new coffee cup recycling facilities in five locations, aiming to recycle 4 million cups a year.  The funding has been provided through a #CupFund grant programme financed by the voluntary 5p charge Starbucks has added to their single use coffee cups.

The schemes are launched as new research released by Hubbub reveals that the public are still confused about cup recycling. Three out of four people wrongly believe that cups can be recycled in the same way as other paper and card. However, because cups have a plastic lining that stops hot drinks from leaking, they need to be collected separately from other paper goods.

The new recycling facilities will make it easy for people in some of the busiest parts of London to recycle their cups.  All cups collected will be recycled within the U.K. into new products including paper bags and greetings cards. These products will be manufactured locally to reduce travel, and some will even go back into the locations where the cups were collected, creating a closed loop.

To promote the launch of the new recycling facilities, an immersive art installation has been created outside of the Tate Modern on London’s Southbank made of 5,555 cups.  This represents the number of cups used every minute in the UK. 222 of these are coloured black to represent the 4% of cups which are currently estimated to be recycled in the U.K.  At 3 metres tall and illuminated at night, the structure is unmissable. Visitors can walk inside and it’s also wheelchair accessible. 

The new London recycling schemes are part of a wider national push by Hubbub and Starbucks, which is supporting seven other campaigns across the UK to make it as easy as possible for people to recycle single use coffee cups. 

Whilst recycling is important, Hubbub realises that ultimately we need to cut the number of single use cups used in the first instance and to clean-up those that are being littered. 

Our ambition is to increase the take-up of reusable cups to 10%.  In 2019 we ran a trial 'cup reuse' campaign at Gatwick Airport and at the start of January 2020, we launched #GrabYourCup in Manchester. This featured messaging throughout the city centre, backed with a radio jingle created by Huey Morgan of the Fun Loving Criminals and 6 Music.   These are just the first of what will be a growing number of campaigns launched during the year.  We are also continuing to expand our fleet of Plastic Fishing boats, taking an increasing number of children and adults out on to the water to remove plastic litter.

To stay in touch with Hubbub’s campaigns during 2020 please do register for our business newsletter – it is going to be a busy year.