The Burger King UK Cup Recycling Case Study

Burger King is an American multinational chain of hamburger fast food restaurants and the second largest quick-service restaurant chain in the world, and as such has packaging waste obligations across the globe. Sustainability is at the heart of Burger King UK’s CSR policy, and as part of a wider strategy to reduce environmental impact they wanted to find a solution for disposable cups, one of their most sold items.

Burger King UK were aware of the challenges involved in recycling cups, which need to be collected as a separate waste stream, so they joined the National Cup Recycling Scheme, of which Valpak is the scheme administrator.



The National Cup Recycling Scheme, which was launched in April 2018, enables brands and retailers to collaborate and work together to create a system for collecting any type of paper cup – from coffee cups to milkshake cups.

Since joining the scheme, Burger King UK has found working with others in the group to be extremely useful and has so far realised the following benefits:

         Help to raise consumer awareness that cups can be recycled

         Opportunity to work with other brands to tackle cup challenges and make recycling convenient for customers

         Learning from other scheme brands’ cup recycling experiences - finding out what works and what doesn’t in terms of in-store recycling



Burger King UK has set up its first cup recycling point in its flagship store, Leicester Square, due to this being one of its busiest locations. This store is also near to other  brands, which helps with the collaborative element of the scheme.

They have added recycling messaging to the bins and have also made the in-store team aware that cups can be recycled there.

Burger King UK believe that if cups can successfully be collected for recycling at this store, they can effectively roll out cup recycling points to other locations.



“Burger King Leicester Square is one of our busiest restaurants, and as our flagship site, it is also a great place to trial new sustainability initiatives. We are gathering learnings about how customers respond to cup recycling, to help inform future roll outs of cup recycling at other locations nationwide.” – Olivia Bailey, Responsible Business Programme Coordinator


To find out how you can get involved with the National Cup Recycling Scheme, please email