Bunzl Catering Supplies has partnered with a range of London businesses to launch the Square Mile Challenge to prevent five million used disposable cups going to landfill by the end of 2017.
The initiative, which was organised by charity group Hubbub with Simply Cups (of which Bunzl is a founding member), aims raise awareness about the importance of paper cup recycling.
On 3 April, it launched in Liverpool Street Station. The day featured Hubbub's Coffee Cup Choir, bright yellow recycling bins, informative signage, social media activity and a giant Perspex cube housing an installation made from thousands of coffee cups.
It also saw the installation of coffee cup recycling bins all around London which divert paper coffee cups into a new waste stream.
Within one month, the initiative hoped to recycle half a million coffee cups. Within two weeks, Simply Cups had collected over 270,000 paper cups from 25 new recycling outlets and 38 businesses, which had installed the recycling outlets either within our outside the building.
Simply Cups is the UK's only collection and recycling service dedicated to turning paper and plastic cups into second-life materials. Once collected the cups are sent to a specialist recycling facility to be transformed into a special resin. This will be used to create new products, such as pencils or park benches, to be donated to schools and community groups in the area.
Joanna Gilroy, head of sustainability for Bunzl Catering Supplies said: "Most people want to do the right thing, and they were very inquisitive and spent time reading the signage. Many were very positive and wanted to know more, not realising they could recycle their coffee cups separately. It's really important that this campaign now grows to other cities."
Other businesses supporting the initiative include Huhtamaki, Dart Products Europe, Seda and Benders Paper Cups, Costa, Marks & Spencer, McDonald's, Nestle, Pret A Manger, Starbucks and Caffé Nero.
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