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 paper cups can be recycled in the UK. There are currently four recycling facilities in the UK that accept paper cups: James Cropper, D S Smith, ACE UK, Essity and Circular & Co. (NexTek). These are standard paper mills, the only difference is that they have a slightly different process for recycling paper cups than other paper products. The UK is fortunate that there are already four paper mills in the UK that are able to process all the paper cups consumed annually in the UK

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

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

Invest in a cup recycling bin

Invest in a cup recycling bin

We recommend using a tube-bin, where 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

The list of waste contractors collecting cups on the National Cup Recycling Scheme has quadrupled in the last year and every month there are more who sign-up – if your waste collector isn’t on the scheme yet but interested in recycling cups, please get in touch.    

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.