How to recycle your paper cups

Paper cups can be recycled in the UK 

Many retailers use a polyethylene lined cup, which is made from 95% sustainably sourced virgin fibre paper and 5% polyethylene plastic lining which keeps the cup waterproof.

The National Cup Recycling Scheme identified that these PE lined paper cups can be recycled in the UK. There are currently five recycling facilities in the UK that accept paper cups: James Cropper, D S Smith, ACE UK, Essity and through Circular & Co. 

In the UK the main challenge lies in collecting paper cups as they must be collected as a separate waste stream. 

There are many other types of cups available such as biodegradable, compostable or aqueous lined. Whichever the cup type, the National Cup Recycling Scheme can assist to ensure the cups make it to the correct re-processor for recycling or composting. 

To start recycling paper cups at your site, follow these simple steps:

Invest in a cup recycling bin

Invest in a cup recycling bin

Customers are asked to separate lids, liquids and cups. You’ll collect a clean stream of cups and have them neatly stacked to be bagged up.

Find a waste contractor who will collect coffee cups

Find a waste collector who will collect coffee cups

Speak to your waste collector to check they offer a cup collection service. If not, please get in touch and the National Cup Recycling Scheme can support. If you are using PE lined cups, The Cup Box  maybe a solution. 

Send cups off for recycling

Send cups off for recycling 

Some waste collectors even offer customers the chance to be totally closed loop and purchase cup recycled paper and business cards, keeping cups part of the circular economy.