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Glasgow retailers join movement to reduce Scotland’s coffee cup waste

Two of Glasgow’s main shopping centres, Glasgow Fort and Buchanan Galleries, have given their support to Cup Movement in Glasgow, the first initiative of its kind in Scotland to stop single-use cups being littered or going to landfill.

Launched in Glasgow earlier this year, Cup Movement has been developed by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful in a bid to tackle a waste stream that has captured the public’s imagination. The project aims to deal with the 95 million single-use cups used in Greater Glasgow every year – more than 500 million are used across Scotland, of which only four per cent are recycled – by transforming recycling infrastructure and encouraging people to adopt more sustainable behaviours.

Glasgow retailers join movement to reduce Scotland’s coffee cup waste
Beanie the Cup Movement mascot on Buchanan Street in Glasgow.
Glasgow Fort and Buchanan Galleries will be supporting Cup Movement by signing up to the project’s recycling service, provided in collaboration with cup recycling specialists Simply Cups, which aims to divert millions of cups from landfill by installing dedicated cup collection points. Cups collected at these points will then be recycled into secondary materials for use in manufacturing.

By working with a number of member organisations across Glasgow, including Costa, Pret a Manger, Starbucks and Greggs, Cup Movement hopes to engage with residents and consumers to change their littering and recycling behaviours. At the same time, the project will be gathering robust evidence to inform policy and create a best practice model to be replicated in other cities, contributing to the Scottish Government’s circular economy ambitions.

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, commented: “It’s fantastic to see two leading Glasgow retail operators standing up and taking positive action on the issue of single-use cups. A number of retailers are already supporting Cup Movement in Glasgow and I hope that many other businesses will follow their example.”

How Glasgow is turning Scotland circular

Glasgow has been at the heart of Scotland’s drive towards a circular economy, hosting the international conference Circular Economy Hotspot in October last year, where it committed to publishing a ‘Circular Economy Route Map’ in 2019 as part of its ambition to become Scotland’s first ‘circular city’.

Phil Goodman, Centre Director at Glasgow Fort, added: “With almost 100 outlets, Glasgow Fort welcomes more than 40,000 visitors every day. This is an opportunity to make a big impact, both by engaging more people to make more sustainable choices and by providing an effective solution that will significantly reduce our own waste footprint. Involvement in Cup Movement forms part of our centre’s wider sustainability goals and we are delighted to be playing our part and supporting Glasgow and Keep Scotland Beautiful in this mission.”

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of Keep Scotland Beautiful, added: “Cup Movement will bring Glasgow’s people together to reduce the amount of single-use cups that end up in landfill or as litter, by reducing their use through reuse and by ensuring that they get recycled as much as possible. Everyone has the opportunity to be part of this positive movement for change.”

Initiatives to reduce single-use coffee cup waste have sprung up across the UK, with major coffee chains beginning to take action against the troublesome waste stream. In April 2018, Costa announced plans to encourage coffee cup recycling by subsidising waste collection companies to the tune of £70 per tonne of cups collected, while Starbucks introduced a five pence charge for disposable cups in all of its 950 UK stores in July last year following a successful London trial.

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