London’s first coffee cup recycling scheme is to be expanded into new areas following a three-month trial in the West End.
The scheme, called ‘Good to-go’, uses street sweeping vehicles to collect used coffee cups from the pavement and directly from members of the public. Dedicated recycling bins for coffee cups have also been placed on the street.
Over 100,000 cups were recycled during the three-month trial in St James’s, Piccadilly and Leicester Square. Westminster City council and recycling company Veolia now plan to introduce the scheme in areas such as Carnaby Street and Baker Street, and aim to recycle half a million cups in the coming year.
Helder Branco, Senior Contract Manager for Veolia, said: “Through the success of ‘Good to-go’ we’ve already given new lease of life to over 100,000 cups, but we see this as just the beginning. Our target to recycle 500,000 cups during the next year is ambitious, but with the ongoing support of the public we’re confident we can achieve it.”
Research carried out by YouGov shows that 30 per cent of Londoners buy at least one hot takeaway drink each week, with most used cups going to landfill sites.
Tim Mitchell, cabinet member for Environment and City Management in Westminster, said: “Londoners’ love affair with the latte is creating a serious environmental problem, with less than one per cent of coffee cups across the capital being recycled.”
“We’ve got coffee-cup-only bins in busy areas, and our army of street cleaners are ready to be handed empty coffee cups to recycle. We’re asking everyone to get on board and get recycling or, even better, buy a re-usable coffee cup and help us make a difference.”
Organisers are promoting the expansion of the scheme by giving away 100 reusable cups in exchange for used takeaway cups.