Starbucks and Hubbub announce winners of “The cup fund”

Hubbub today (11 September) announced the twelve winners who have secured investment to boost coffee cup recycling facilities across the UK.

The funding was provided from the 5p charge on disposable coffee cups that has been voluntarily introduced by Starbucks and is donated to Hubbub to reduce plastic pollution.

The investment in coffee cup recycling facilities will make it possible to recycle an extra 35 million cups per annum. The winning projects cover the heart of London, major cities, shopping centres, universities and motorway service stations.

They were selected by an independent expert grant panel including representatives from LARAC and the CIWM.

The fund was developed in close collaboration with the recycling industry ensuring that all the collected cups will be recycled within the UK into a variety of new products including high quality stationary and cardboard boxes.

The cup fund

Hubbub, with the support of Starbucks, launched ‘The Cup Fund’, the UK’s largest grant fund to support ambitious projects that boost paper cup recycling in the UK.

The aim of the fund is to kickstart cup recycling across the UK. It will introduce new recycling facilities, create new partnerships and deliver high quality behaviour change communications across the UK.

Grant funding of between £50,000 to £100,000 has been made available to each successful project. As well as the funding, Hubbub will provide ongoing support to successful applicants based on our expertise and experience in delivering paper cup recycling campaigns.

The fund is supported by Starbucks pioneering 5p cup charge which is applied when a customer chooses to use a single-use paper cup. Introduced voluntarily last year, Starbucks has donated all funds to Hubbub to support recycling and sustainability efforts.

The winners

Better Bankside BID

The London Bridge, Better Bankside and South Bank Business Improvement Districts will introduce a cup recycling scheme across London’s South Bank, which has some of the highest footfall in the London and includes landmark sites such as Tate Modern and City Hall. The project aims to recycle 2,250,000 paper cups in year 1 and leverage the buzz around on-street cup recycling to drive up the in-office and in-retail cup recycling the 130 beverage outlets in the project area.

Camden Climate Change Alliance

The Camden Climate Change Alliance will take a three-pronged approach to collect and recycle 570,000 cups in year 1. The first is to build on a successful pilot project by doubling the number of street sweepers, who reduce contamination by separating and collecting coffee cups as they work. The second is to install dedicated coffee cup recycling within office environments and the third is to introduce incentives to encourage independent coffee shops in the borough to recycle customer cups.


Bywaters Waste and Recycling will roll out a coffee cup recycling stream across three universities: University of Westminster, Queen Mary University of London and University of Greenwich. Bywaters will introduce reverse vending machines, rewards, coffee cup bins, re-branded cups and run a communications campaign and events to engage students. The project will also do collections using a zero-emission electric coffee cup recycling van, charged from a solar PV array. The project aims to recycle 600,000 paper cups in year 1.

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

The ‘Recycle UP’ project will introduce specially designed bins in office buildings and high footfall public areas in Mayfair and Belgravia in London, and will expand to other local areas. Alongside this, GBI will launch a competition with local schools to create a design for a paper cup art installation that will be delivered on the estate. The project aims to recycle 600,000 paper cups in year 1.

Brixton BID

The Brixton BID will launch the first town-centre coffee cup recycling scheme in Lambeth. The project will introduce on-street coffee cups recycling bins for consumers, residents and visitors in up to 10 locations. The project will also provide independent coffee shops with facilities within their premises to encourage cups recycling. The project aims to recycle 150,000 paper cups in year 1.

DS Smith

DS Smith are working in partnership with Associated Vending Services (AVS) to provide a coffee cup post-back service for cups from vending machines in public, private and municipal locations throughout the UK. The project aims to collect 24,000,000 cups in year 1 to divert them from the general waste stream.

Bristol Waste Company

The Bristol Waste company will partner with Bristol City Council and James Cropper Paper Mill to establish a network of on-street cup bins and in-store drop off locations with accessible, engaging and fun communications to capture as many single use cups in Bristol as possible. The project aims to collect 4,000,000 cups in year 1, followed by building the city’s relationship with reusable solutions.

Forge Recycling

The project will introduce paper cup recycling to the City of York through a partnership between the York BID, LNER and York University. Cups will be stored and processed at depots in York and Leeds. The project aims to recycle 500,000 paper cups in year 1.


The Westmorland Family business will launch a paper cup recycling scheme to collect paper cups at bins at its motorway service areas in Cumbria and Gloucester, for James Cropper Paper Mill to recycle them into own branded paper bags. The project aims to recycle 1,000,000 paper cups in year 1.

British Land / Giltbrook Retail Park

Giltbrook Retail Park will launch 10 coffee cup recycling bins across its retail and industrial park in Nottingham, along with an additional 12 mixed waste bins to enable visitors to separate waste between general and recycling. The project aims to recycle 165,000 paper cups in year 1.

University of Northampton

The University of Northampton, in partnership with a consortium of the town’s biggest employers and most visited destinations, will introduce an infrastructure of engaging recycling bins, strategically located linking the highest footfall areas in the town. The project aims to recycle 160,000 paper cups in year 1.

Oxford Direct Services

The Oxford City Council will install 20 dedicated on-street coffee cup recycling bins in high footfall areas: ten in the city centre, four on Summertown high street and six on Headington high street. The project aims to recycle 6.35 tonnes of coffee cups, roughly equivalent to 650,000 paper cups in year 1.

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