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Paper cup recycling pioneers return to ‘complete unfinished business’

24th Nov 2023 - 08:32
Peter Goodwin and James Capel co-cre8 paper cup recycling
The co-founders of co-cre8, a company specialising in recycling, have launched a new nationwide paper cup collection and recycling service they say is ‘designed for all participants in the lifecycle, regardless of size or volume’.

Peter Goodwin, managing director of co-cre8, and James Capel, the chairman, helped establish the UK's first nationwide paper cup collection and recycling service in 2014.

Says Peter: “Our pioneering service kick-started paper cup recycling in 2014 yet, despite the media furore and consumer outrage over the billions of paper cups that are disposed of each year, still less than 1% of all cups are currently being recycled in the UK after use.

“We aim to break this deadlock with a layered collection and recycling service that will meet the needs of both foodservice chains, independent coffee shops, and everything in between.”

James added: “Our re-entry into the waste market is certainly a case of unfinished business. Cup recycling has stagnated while we've been away and our mission is to change that, by increasing the availability of proven cup collection infrastructure and services that ensure a much more circular outcome for these desirable high-quality fibres.”

They said that although the proposed UK Mandatory Paper Cup Take Back Legislation had been delayed until 2025, businesses could now benefit from the cost savings attributed to cup recycling whilst also fulfilling their commitments to generating less waste.

In Brussels, for example, they said the cup recycling scheme managed by co-cre8 was reducing waste disposal costs by more than 50% by using co-cre8's innovative cup collection stations, which stack cups rather than bagging them loose.

“Furthermore, when these stations are put in the right place more than 40% of dine-in cups can be collected without contamination for easy recycling,” said Peter.

The company’s Paper Cup Recycling Scheme is open to all UK businesses and will register as an official Defra Take Back Scheme participant.

It offers a ‘layered collection’ solution dependent on the volume of used cups generated by the business. It includes backhaul or on-site collection for larger users, and post-back for smaller businesses.

Businesses will be able to securely access real time data on the weight of collected and recycled material, enabling them to monitor performance and ensure compliance with UK Mandatory Take Back legislation, when it is brought into force.

Written by
David Foad