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Glasgow City Council

Glasgow retailers join single-use cup recycling initiative


Published 15/9/23

Take It Back campaign

Glasgow retailers have teamed up with Keep Scotland Beautiful to relaunch its recyclable cup scheme in the city.

Partnering with the National Cup Recycling Scheme and key retailers, Keep Scotland Beautiful aims to encourage people who use single-use takeaway cups to return them to a store for recycling, this time with 28 more coffee chain stores in tow.

The #TakeitBack scheme directs Glaswegians to 128 stores across the city where any standard single-use cup can be taken back to be recycled, regardless of which store it was originally purchased in.

Only 4% of the 200million single use cups used in Scotland each year are recycled. A survey carried out by the charity found that 90% of people are concerned about the environmental impact of takeaway cups being littered.

Partnering with members of the National Cup Recycling Scheme, including Costa Coffee, McDonald's, Caffé Nero, Pret A Manger, Burger King, Greggs and Lavazza, and Starbucks means that there are plenty of options for people in Glasgow to help reduce the number of single-use cups going to landfill.

By raising awareness of the available options for cup recycling the initiative aims to make lovers of coffee and other on-the-go food and drink think differently - resulting in an increase in single-use cup recycling.

Paul Wallace, Campaigns and Social Innovation Manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: "We are delighted to relaunch the Take It Back initiative in Glasgow. A simple action like using a single-use cup can add to millions of waste going to landfill and damaging our environment. The convenience of the #TakeItBack scheme will allow Glaswegians to choose a greener alternative when they are buying a takeaway drink.

"We would love to see a reduction in the use of single- use cups, with the public moving towards reusable options. However, we recognise that single-use cups are sometimes the most convenient option, so we need to ensure that recycling opportunities are available, making it easier for people to do the right thing. This is why we are trialling a number of initiatives to promote sustainable behaviours, from an innovative reusable cup scheme in the Highlands to Take It Back in Glasgow.

"Our previous initiative was a brilliant success and we hope that more people will get involved this time around. We want people to enjoy guilt free hot drinks on the go and by supporting the Take it Back initiative you can help reduce the amount of single-use cups used and discarded in Scotland."

Councillor Ruairi Kelly, City Convener for Neighbourhood Services and Assets, said: "Tens of millions of single use coffee cups thrown away in Glasgow every year and the vast majority of those cups will just become general waste.

"The Take it Back campaign shows there is an alternative approach that ensures single use coffee cups can be recycled and the incredible amount of waste generated by our taste for coffee can be reduced.

"Having the major, high street coffee retailers on board with the scheme makes it much easier for people to take back their unwanted, disposable cups so they can go to a specialist processor for recycling.

"The Take It Back campaign is also about promoting reusable cups and helps make on-the-go coffee a far more sustainable option."

Hannah Osman, National Cup Recycling Manager at Valpak, said: "The National Cup Recycling Scheme is excited to help fund this initiative and collaborate with Keep Scotland Beautiful for the 'Take it Back' campaign in Glasgow and Dundee.

"Raising consumer awareness that paper cups can be fully recycled right here in the UK is key to ensuring the success of the National Cup Recycling Scheme. We are looking forward to seeing the results of this campaign so we can review its success and then look to roll this out across the country."


Published 15/9/23

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