Coffee cup recycling scheme launched in City of London

Coffee Cup recycling bins Image copyright David Jensen
Image caption Recycling bins are being placed on the streets of the City of London

A new scheme in the City of London is aiming to recycle five million disposable coffee cups this year.

More than 100 retailers and 30 organisations are offering recycling facilities as part of the City of London's Square Mile Challenge.

The organisers claim the initiative will be the UK's biggest coffee cup recycling scheme.

Only 1% of the 2.5 billion paper coffee cups used in the UK each year are recycled.

The plastic film inside the cups means they can rarely be recycled with other mixed recycling.

The initiative will process the cups to create a plastic or recovered fibre material which will be made into new products, some of which will be donated to an outdoor community space and cafe due to open in the City next year.

Image copyright David Jensen/PA
Image caption Organisers say the Square Mile Challenge will be the UK's biggest coffee cup recycling scheme

Shirley Rodrigues, London's deputy mayor for environment and energy, said: "Until now there has been no consistent, reliable way to recycle coffee cups in the heart of London and so the Square Mile Challenge is a big step forward."

Bins in the shape of yellow coffee cups are being placed on the City's streets and participating organisations will display yellow stickers in their windows.

Cups will also be collected at Liverpool Street and Cannon Street stations in April.

The City of London Corporation, Network Rail, national coffee retailers and some of the Square Mile's employers have joined forces for the project which is being led by the environmental charity Hubbub and recycling company Simply Cups.

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