As a nation renowned for our tea and coffee drinking, Britain gets through over 2.5 billion single-use cups every year, and this is only increasing, yet it is estimated that only 0.25% of paper cups are actually recycled. 

It’s clear that producers and retailers need to do more to tackle this growing problem.

There are a number of voluntary takeback initiatives in place which have seen positive results; however, the Government acknowledges that voluntary initiatives ‘will only go so far’ and want to see producers take ‘greater responsibility for these difficult to recycle packaging products.’ 

In order to tackle the disposable cups problem, the Government has set out objectives as part of the Extended Producer Responsibility strategy which includes: 

  • Increasing the use of reusable cups 
  • Reducing the use of difficult-to-recycle single-use cups 
  • Increasing the recycling of single-use cups 

With initial plans to increase the recycling of single-use cups, the Government is preparing for the possibility of implementing a mandatory takeback for all sellers of filled disposable paper cups for both hot and cold drinks, irrespective of brand or place of purchase.

What do businesses need to do?

Businesses should focus on encouraging the use of reusable cups in stores, by selling these on site and introducing reward schemes for those customers who use them.  

With the proposed introduction of a mandatory takeback obligation however, businesses will be required to provide accessible in-store recycling points for customers’ paper cups as well as installing recycling stations located outside of stores. 

Sellers of filled paper cups will also then be responsible for arranging separate collection and recycling of any cups left at their recycling points. 

Recycling stations are an effective way to not only increase the recyclability of your business’ waste, but to also be an influence for change in our throw-away culture. 

It is clear that brands have a responsibility to lead the way in tackling the food and beverage waste issues and this is a small step in the right direction. 

How We Can Support Businesses 

Whether for national coffee chains and supermarkets or independent cafes, we can design and produce paper cup recycling solutions with the client’s purpose in mind. 

Using the latest CAD design technology with our experience and understanding of the pace of retail, our Product Development Team can rapidly produce bespoke paper cup recycling stations tailored specifically for the client’s needs

From concept to store roll-out, our expert teams will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your business is ahead of the curve to increase sustainability efforts and prepare for the proposed takeback legislation. 

How We’ve Already Supported Morrisons 

In order to further their sustainability efforts, we were approached by the supermarket giant, Morrisons, to create an innovative and eco-friendly solution for easy in-store paper cup recycling. 

Our in-house Technical Team were able to provide the perfect design to prevent paper cups from ending up in general waste. By installing the recycling station, the cups can instead be repurposed into greeting cards. For every 15 recycled cups, two new greeting cards can be produced for the retailer to sell on. 

The completed product was made from powder-coated steel and our Creative Team worked with the client to design bespoke branded artwork. A nationwide roll out is now planned to ship Recycling Cup Stations to over 450 Morrisons stores. 

For more information on how we can support your business with paper cup recycling stations or to discuss your brief in more detail, please get in touch with our dedicated team of experts today. The time to act is now.