Environmental charity Hubbub today announced a £300,000 investment in five new coffee cup recycling facilities in London, designed to recycle an additional four million cups a year.

The five new facilities mark the latest initiative to be funded by the #CupFund grant programme, financed by Starbuck’s voluntary 5p charge on single-use coffee cups. It joins seven other recycling projects across the UK, as well as a trial ‘cup and reuse’ scheme in Gatwick Airport and a 2020 radio campaign in Manchester to remind people to grab their reusable cup when they leave the house.

The launch of the new London facilities is being promoted by an immersive art installation outside Tate Modern. A sculpture made of 5,555 cups represents the number of cups used every minute. Four per cent of the cups on display – just 222 – are coloured black to represent the total that are currently estimated to be recycled in the UK.

The new facilities arrive as fresh research from Hubbub shows the extent of misunderstanding around coffee cup recycling among UK consumers.

A survey commissioned by the charity found that three in four people wrongly believe coffee cups can be recycled the same way as other paper and card. In fact, due to a plastic lining to stop hot drinks leaking, they need to be collected separately from other paper goods and processed using dedicated technologies – hence the need for new collection and recycling infrastructure.

Starbucks introduced the 5p charge on paper cups in 2018 to encourage customers to use resuable cups. The charge has seen their use rise from 1.8 to over 5 per cent of hot drinks sold, while also raising money to support a range of recycling projects.

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