COMMUNITY | Staff Reporter, UK

Starbucks-backed grant programme to scale paper cup recycling launched

Grants range between £50,000 and £100,000.

Environmental charity Hubbub announced the launch of The Cup Fund to kickstart paper cup recycling programmes in locations across the country.

The Cup Fund will support at least 10 large-scale recycling programmes, offering grants of between £50,000 and £100,000 based on the specific needs of each application to develop long term infrastructure and ensure cups are collected and sent for recycling.

The initiative is financed by Starbucks, who introduced a 5p charge on paper cups in 2018.

Starbucks said the proceeds from the charge are donated to Hubbub to carry out environmental projects that increase recycling as well as behaviour change studies “to understand more about consumer behaviour, including the barriers that stop more people using a reusable cup.”

The in-store charge has seen reusable cup use rise from 1.8% nationwide to over 5% of all hot drinks sold. In-store cup recycling is also offered in over 350 Starbucks stores across Britain.

“The launch of The Cup Fund with Starbucks means we will be able to collect cups in significant volumes in areas where there may not have been any drop off points before. We’re looking for ambitious, large-scale projects that will transform cup recycling in high footfall areas,” Hubbub founder and CEO Trewin Restorick said.

The Cup Fund welcomes applications from local authorities, recycling companies, property owners and social enterprises.

Winning schemes will be selected by a panel consisting of experts in recycling and infrastructure, including The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) and the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM).

Apart from financial funding, Hubbub will provide ongoing guidance and advice to the winning programmes to help them deliver infrastructure with a long-term benefit.

Applications are open until May 24. Applicants can apply for The Cup Fund at

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