16 Apr 2019 --- Starbucks has partnered with UK environmental charity Hubbub to launch a £1m (US$1.3m) fund that will spearhead cup recycling initiatives in the UK. The grants to be given range from £50,000 (US$65,600) to £100,000. The Cup Fund is financed by Starbucks, who introduced a 5p (US$0.07) charge on paper cups in 2018, to encourage customers to increase their use of reusable cups and avoid the charge. The Cup Fund aims to support at least 10 large-scale recycling programs in locations across the UK, each with the goal to develop long-term infrastructure and ensure all cups are collected and sent for recycling.
Since implementing the 5p charge, Starbucks has seen reusable cup use increase from 2 percent to over 5 percent, for all hot beverages sold. In addition, over 350 Starbucks stores across the UK offer in-store cup recycling, in a scheme that means any brand of cup can be brought back to be recycled.
The Cup Fund invites applications from a range of organizations, local authorities, recycling companies, property owners and social enterprises wanting to increase infrastructure but lacking funding. The biggest hurdle for the industry at the moment is that paper cups cannot be recycled along with normal paper and cardboard, due to the leakage-preventing plastic lining.
As such, more recycling points are needed to collect the cups as well as clear communication to help the public recycle effectively, as the remains of drinks and tea bags can spoil whole batches of recycling.
“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,” says Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder of Hubbub.
The winning schemes will be selected by an independent panel consisting of experts in recycling and infrastructure, including the UK 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 programs assist them in developing long-term infrastructure and implementation.
“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 trialing in London next year,” says Jaz Rabadia, UK Senior Manager of Energy and Sustainability.
Interested parties can apply at The Cup Fund website. Applications are open until 24 May 2019.