First Scottish Initiative To Stop Single-Use Cups Going To Landfill

The Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG) has announced that it is supporting the first Scottish initiative to stop single-use cups going to landfill or ending up as litter. 

Launched this week in Glasgow, the Cup Movement, has been developed by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful in response to growing public concern about the environmental impact of single-use items. It will be the largest, sustained single-use cup collection and behaviour change initiative of its kind in Scotland and, if successful, the model could be rolled out across many more cities in the UK.

With an estimated 95 million single-use cups being used in the Greater Glasgow area every year, the pioneering project will tackle this issue head on by transforming recycling infrastructure and encouraging people to adopt more sustainable behaviours.

Research has shown that 48% of Glasgow’s drinks waste currently consists of single-use cups, so the Cup Movement will aim to stop single-use cups ending up as litter, by transforming recycling infrastructure, working with partners to install convenient recycling and cup collection points across the city and targeting the city’s thousands of regular cup users to switch to reusable containers.

Roseanna Cunningham MSP – “Tackling our reliance on throwaway cups and encouraging people to make the right choices are important steps in helping build a sustainable future for Scotland.”

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, said: “Tackling our reliance on throwaway cups and encouraging people to make the right choices are important steps in helping build a sustainable future for Scotland.

“That’s why the we decided to remove single-use coffee cups from the Scottish Government’s main buildings last year. I’m sure the people of Glasgow will get behind the Cup Movement with equal passion.”

By working with retailers of all sizes and types across the city, the initiative will bring together the all stakeholders to engage with the public to:

  • Educate, inspire and empower people to change their littering, recycling and reuse behaviours
  • Gather robust evidence to inform policy and create a model of best practice that can be replicated in other major cities
  • Contribute to Scottish Government circular economy ambitions

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “The Cup Movement in Glasgow is a truly collaborative initiative that has been 18 months in the planning. We look forward to working with PCRRG members Costa, Greggs, McDonalds UK, Pret A Manger and Starbucks UK and other funders including Excel Vending, Kidd’s and Graphic Packing International to deliver a transformational campaign right across the city.

“By bringing together businesses, institutions and people, we will be working hard to reach each and every cup before it becomes litter or landfill. Whether it be through recycling or switching to a reusable cup, we want people to realise they have an opportunity to be part of a positive movement for change.”

Neil Whittall, Chairman of the PCRRG, said: “It is vital that industry plays its part in supporting behaviour change activities to help us get cups collected for recycling. So, projects like the Cup Movement in Glasgow are important for us to be involved in. It is also great to be working in partnership with such a credible organisation as Keep Scotland Beautiful who are experts in managing environmental campaigns”

Assisting with the Cup Movement are cup collection specialists Simply Cups, who have developed a successful programme for cup collection in other parts of the country. Simply Cups will work in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful to ensure that the Cup Movement achieves the maximum reach and impact.

The Cup Movement has also attracted funding and support from Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government.

Throughout 2019, the Cup Movement will also be working with partners to encourage Glasgow’s thousands of regular cup users to think carefully about their everyday choices. Over the longer term, the initiative will also focus on inspiring people to move to reusable cups and encouraging behaviour change.


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