Manchester launches paper coffee cup recycling campaign
A dedicated coffee cup recycling project has been launched in Manchester city centre.
Environmental charity Hubbub said the “pioneering” #1MoreShot campaign aimed to recycle 20,000 coffee cups into 15,000 plastic flower pot holders with new technology.
Only 1% of the 2.5bn paper coffee cups used in the UK each year is recycled.
The “wanton waste” of the cups was the topic of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s War on Waste programmes this year.
Gavin Ellis, co-founder of Hubbub, said most people in the UK were unaware so few of their coffee cups were being recycled but to make them waterproof the card is fused with polyethylene, a material that cannot be separated out again in a standard recycling mill.
Mr Ellis said his charity wanted to explore solutions to the coffee cup crisis and chef Fearnley-Whittingstall’s BBC One show had “galvanised the industry into action”.
The three-month pilot will see the addition of 11 giant bins in the shape of coffee cups on Oxford Road in Manchester.
Simply Cups, a partner in #1MoreShot, will then transform the disposed cups into plastic products.
The plastic flower pot holders will be donated to Groundwork and used in community gardens for the “people of Manchester to benefit from”.
Major high street coffee chains Caffé Nero, Costa, Greggs, KFC, McDonald’s, Nestle, Pret a Manger and Waitrose have all offered financial support to the project.
Jason Cotta, managing director of UK & Ireland Costa, said he was “delighted” to be part of the trial to recycle cups and “look at innovative ways to encourage consumers to separate and deposit their takeaway cups”.