The new scheme aims to provide an easy and cost-effective way for Selecta vending customers across the UK from businesses to train stations, schools and hospitals, to recycle their paper coffee cups through a service that guarantees cups are collected from premises and responsibly recycled.
The initiative has been developed in conjunction with Veolia, the UK’s leading environmental solutions provider. The scheme will see the paper cups transformed into ‘high end’ fibre goods, such as packaging for perfumes and colognes, shopping bags and luxury notepads.
Recycling a paper cup extends its life and is crucial to reduce its carbon footprint. SelectaGreen will be available to more than 10,000 customers across the UK offering a dramatic increase in recycling opportunity. The scheme will ensure millions of cups a week can be collected for processing.
Emily Stoten, Marketing Director of Selecta UK said: “At Selecta, we take sustainability and our responsibilities to the environment seriously. The recycling of a paper coffee cup is a complex process. Whilst our cups can already be recycled, we recognise that it isn’t always easy for our customers to do this due to supply chain challenges, particularly when they are not based in city centres.”
She added: “As the largest supplier of vending machines in Europe, this is a significant step forward in removing a barrier for businesses and locations such as colleges and hospitals to contribute to recycling in the UK as it will ensure millions of cups a week can be collected for processing to be used in the paper pulp manufacturing industry.”
Selecta vending customers who sign up for the scheme will receive a SelectaGreen Cup Recycling box which, when full, will be collected by Veolia within 48 hours of a request being received. The SelectaGreen recycling box is replaced at the customer site and the cups taken to Veolia’s facility in Essex. Veolia then undertakes a further separation process to guarantee all rogue items have been removed before arriving at a specialist UK pulping plant. None of the materials used for SelectaGreen goes to landfill.
The SelectaGreen scheme is in response to increasing awareness of the growing scale of coffee cup waste combined with the lack of infrastructure to deal with it.
Statistics show that 2.5 billion cups are thrown away in the UK every year with less than one per cent recycled. The data (1) in a Parliamentary Report published by MPs on the Environmental Audit Committee showed that the UK produces 30,000 tonnes of coffee cup waste each year, and just one in 400 cups is recycled – less than 0.25%. In 2018, a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Eunomia Research & Consulting (2) suggested that the UK is set to throw away a third more single-use coffee cups by 2030.
Emily Stoten explained: “This is a serious issue and we have approached it responsibly with the aim of producing a sustainable scheme that yields results reducing waste to landfill and helping our customers achieve their sustainability objectives.
“With this scheme, we have chosen the easiest route to make sure the highest possible volume of cups are dealt with and we feel that recycling through this effective and guaranteed scheme being offered by Veolia is the way forward.
“We expect to see a dramatic increase in recycling achieved through the SelectaGreen box scheme at hubs across the UK and we are proud to be able to be part of this process.”
Keith McGurk, Regional Director for Veolia, said: “We are delighted to partner with Selecta to deliver Veolia’s innovative solution for their customers and help improve their
environmental performance. With distribution points being far and wide and limited access to recycling points, our challenge has been to capture their customers’ cups. We have solved this by offering our national collection to more than 10,000 of Selecta’s customers, using our infrastructure and expertise. Since we launched this scheme in 2017, Veolia has already diverted more than 60 million cups from energy recovery and landfill. We look forward to improving these green credentials further with our new partner.”
- Environmental Audit Committee Report 2018
- A plastic future: Plastics consumption and waste management, WWF & Eunomia Research & Consulting