Resource Use

Glasdon UK launches eBook to cut cup recycling confusion

Environmental manufacturer Glasdon UK has launched a new eBook covering on-the-go cup recycling in a bid to ease the confusion surrounding cup recycling and increase the number of cups collected for recycling.

Launched on Wednesday (15 August), the new eBook is called ‘The what, why and how to of on-the-go cup recycling’ and is structured in three parts, covering what single-use cups are made from, whether they can be recycled and the practicalities of recycling the problem material.

Readers can also learn about the latest industry developments in cup recycling and  the consumer initiatives available right now, while a practical step-by-step guide for businesses provides tips and advice on how to introduce a cup recycling programme in the workplace.Glasdon UK launches eBook to cut cup recycling confusion

Glasdon’s eBook is indicative of the wider desire to get levels of waste generated by single-use items under control. Currently, around 2.5 billion disposable cups are used in the UK every year, which Glasdon predicts will increase to 3.5 billion by 2025, and the waste stream was the focus of an inquiry by Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) at the start of the year, which recommended that a 25 pence charge should be incurred for the use of a disposable cup in coffee shops.

Commenting on the launch of the eBook, Neil Gilkes, National Sales Manager for Glasdon UK, said: “The EAC has highlighted that there is confusion around the recycling of disposable coffee cups and that an understanding of how the cups should be disposed of is low. We’ve been working closely with waste management companies to understand how we can help improve the take-up of cup recycling.

“As a manufacturer it’s obviously a top priority for us to design cup recycling products that facilitate the recommended disposal and collection methods. However, we want to do more than that and help get the message out that the means to recycle cups and the infrastructure is available for us all to start to take action right now.

“We know that consumers and businesses want to tackle this issue and stop the cups which can be recycled from needlessly going to landfill. As one of the stakeholders in the industry chain we have a responsibility to help create a better understanding of what can be done. We hope by creating engaging and informative resources we can switch people on to the changes they can make today that will benefit tomorrow.”

There have been moves from within the waste industry to improve the collection and recycling of disposable cups in recent months. Waste management company Veolia has predicted that by 2019 there will be a 300 per cent rise in coffee cups it collects for recycling, amounting to some 120 million cups. In March, packaging company DS Smith stated that it had the capacity to recycle all the UK’s coffee cups at its paper mill in Kemsley, Kent, while on a smaller scale, paper manufacturer James Cropper launched its own trademarked ‘CupCycling’ process in May.

High-street coffee shop Costa has also announced its aim to recycle as many coffee cups as it sells by 2020, equating to 500 million cups. The programme involves the chain subsidising a number of waste collection companies, including Veolia, to collect takeaway cups from stores (£70 per tonne collected). This subsidy aims to raise the value of coffee cups as a material in the eyes of recyclers, making it more financially viable to collect them.

The What, Why and How to of On-the-Go Cup Recycling’ is available to download from the Glasdon UK website.

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