Environment charity Hubbub launches The Cup Fund to boost paper cup recycling programs across the UK

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Environment charity Hubbub launches The Cup Fund to boost paper cup recycling programs across the UK

April 11, 2019 - 10:06
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LONDON, April 11, 2019 (Press Release) -A newly developed programme delivered by Hubbub and funded by the Starbucks 5p cup charge will help communities resource collection of paper cup waste.

Applications open today for grants ranging between £50,000 and £100,000.

Environmental charity, Hubbub, today announces the launch of The Cup Fund, to kickstart paper cup recycling programmes in locations across the U.K. The Cup Fund will support at least 10 large-scale recycling programmes, offering grants of between £50,000 and £100,000 based on the specific needs of each application to develop long term infrastructure and ensure cups are collected and sent for recycling.

The ability to recycle paper cups has moved on considerably over the last two years and there is now enough capacity in the U.K. to recycle all of the paper cups we use. However, the cups can’t be recycled with normal paper and cardboard due to the plastic lining that stops hot drinks from leaking, so they need to be collected separately. More recycling points are needed to collect the cups as well as clear communication to help the public recycle effectively, as remains of drinks and tea bags can spoil whole batches of recycling.

Today’s launch of The Cup Fund invites applications from a range of organisations wanting to increase infrastructure but lacking funding, including local authorities, recycling companies, property owners and social enterprises to come forward.

Trewin Restorick, CEO and Founder of Hubbub, said: “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.

The Cup Fund is financed by Starbucks, who introduced a 5p charge on paper cups in 2018, to encourage customers to increase their use of reusable cups and avoid the charge. Starbucks ensures all proceeds are donated to Hubbub to carry out environmental projects that increase recycling as well as behaviour change studies to understand more about consumer behaviour including barriers to more people using a reusable cup.

The instore charge has seen reusable cup use increase from 1.8% nationwide to over 5% of allhot drinks sold. Instore cup recycling is also offered in over 350 Starbucks stores across Britain, in a scheme that means any brand of cup can be brought back to be recycled.

Applicants can apply for The Cup Fund at www.thecupfund.com Applications are open until 24 May 2019.

Winning schemes will be selected by an independent panel consisting of experts in recycling and infrastructure, including The 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 programmes to help them deliver infrastructure with a long term benefit.

Jaz Rabadia MBE, UK senior manager of energy and sustainability, said: “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 trialling in London next year.”


Hubbub is a charity which explores innovative ways to interest mainstream consumers in important sustainability issues, through different ‘hubs’ of activity: Food; Fashion; Homes; Neighbourhoods. In 2017 Hubbub led the #SquareMileChallenge campaign which recycled 5 million cups from the City of London in 12 months.