Collecting half a million cups in one month?
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Collecting half a million cups in one month?

Collecting half a million cups in one month?

April sees the launch of the UK’s biggest initiative to date to tackle the issue of disposable coffee cup recycling in what will be known as “the Square Mile Challenge”.

Launching in London’s Square Mile, the scheme, led by environmental charity Hubbub, in partnership with recycling company Simply Cups and supported by many leading city establishments will utilise Leafield Environmental’s EnvirocupXL cup bins as internal recycling collection points across the city.

The EnvirocupXL has six circular apertures that can accommodate virtually every size of disposable cup up to the 103mm diameter cups popularised by major high street coffee house chains.

Cups dropped through the circular apertures nest inside the collection tubes, dramatically increasing the number of cups that can be collected in a bin and reducing the number of times each bin has to be collected and emptied by operatives. By highlighting the separate collection of cups (which cannot be recycled in the same way that ordinary paper and card is recycled) the EnvirocupXL will help users avoid the additional charges imposed when paper cups contaminate mixed recycling streams. 

The EnvirocupXL also incorporates a 7.5 litre central liquid hub reservoir to deal with the cold coffee and dregs that invariably pose a disposal problem.

To collect and recycle half a million cups a month is undoubtedly ambitious  but could hopefully be the start of a trend to recycle more and more of the seven million coffee cups that are thrown away each day across the UK. 



The Challenge has been made possible with funding from Bunzl, Costa, Marks and Spencer, McDonald's, Nestle, Pret A Manger and Starbucks and a group of the leading coffee cup manufacturers.

The scheme offers up to five free coffee cup recycling bins (one free bin per 100 employees up to a maximum of 5 bins), with a discounted rate on additional bins (£180 per unit reduced from £220 per unit)

“The Square Mile Challenge will demonstrate a commercially and operationally viable solution to recover used coffee cups and recycle them into useful new products. We will create a sustainable legacy for the City of London which can then be adopted by other cities around the world.” Simply Cups

To sign up to the Challenge go to:

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