Starbucks has teamed up with environmental charity Hubbub to launch a £1m fund aimed at kickstarting paper cup recycling programmes across the UK.

The Cup Fund will support at least 10 large-scale recycling programmes, offering grants of between £50,000 and £100,000 to develop long-term re-processing infrastructure and ensure cups are collected and sent for recycling.

The ability to recycle paper cups has increased over the last two years and there is now enough capacity in the UK to recycle every paper cup that is used. However, as hot drink cups have a plastic lining that stops the liquid from leaking, they must be collected separately from other recycling streams. As such specific cup recycling points are needed, along with clear communication to help the public recycle easily.

The Cup Fund is open to applications from this week and is open to a wide range of organisations that want to increase recycling infrastructure but currently lack funding, including local authorities, recycling companies, property owners, and social enterprises.

“We know that local authorities and building managers are committed to achieving their recycling targets but with increased strain on their budgets, investing in infrastructure is difficult,” said Trewen Restorick, CEO and founder of Hubbub. “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.”

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

As well as financial funding, Hubbub will provide ongoing guidance and advice to the winning programmes to help them deliver infrastructure with a long-term benefit. Applicants can apply for The Cup Fund at, with applications open until 24 May 2019.

The Cup Fund is financed by Starbucks and builds on the firm’s existing partnership with Hubbub.

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