Major retailers sign up to Glasgow’s recyclable cup scheme

A host of big name Glasgow retailers have teamed up with Keep Scotland Beautiful to launch its recyclable cup scheme in the city.

The #TakeitBack initiative will allow individuals to return their single-use cups to a range of stores for recycling.

A total of 28 coffee stores – including Starbucks, Costa Coffee, CaffĂ© Nero, Pret A Manger, and Lavazza – have signed up, alongside the likes of Burger King, McDonald’s, and Greggs. The cups can be returned to any of the participating stores, even if purchased elsewhere.

Only 4% of the 200 million single-use cups used in Scotland each year are recycled, with a survey carried out by Keep Scotland Beautiful finding that 90% of people are concerned about the environmental impact of takeaway cups being littered.

Glasgow City Council said that, by raising awareness of the available options for cup recycling, the initiative aims to make lovers of coffee and other on-the-go food and drink think differently – resulting in an increase in single-use cup recycling.

Paul Wallace, campaigns and social innovation manager at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented, “We are delighted to relaunch the Take It Back initiative in Glasgow. A simple action like using a single-use cup can add to millions of waste going to landfill and damaging our environment. The convenience of the #TakeItBack scheme will allow Glaswegians to choose a greener alternative when they are buying a takeaway drink.

“We would love to see a reduction in the use of single-use cups, with the public moving towards reusable options. However, we recognise that single-use cups are sometimes the most convenient option, so we need to ensure that recycling opportunities are available, making it easier for people to do the right thing. This is why we are trialling a number of initiatives to promote sustainable behaviours, from an innovative reusable cup scheme in the Highlands to Take It Back in Glasgow.

“Our previous initiative was a brilliant success and we hope that more people will get involved this time around. We want people to enjoy guilt free hot drinks on the go and by supporting the Take it Back initiative you can help reduce the amount of single-use cups used and discarded in Scotland.”

Councillor Ruairi Kelly, city convener for neighbourhood services and assets at Glasgow City Council, added, “Tens of millions of single use coffee cups thrown away in Glasgow every year and the vast majority of those cups will just become general waste.

“The Take it Back campaign shows there is an alternative approach that ensures single use coffee cups can be recycled and the incredible amount of waste generated by our taste for coffee can be reduced.

“Having the major, high street coffee retailers on board with the scheme makes it much easier for people to take back their unwanted, disposable cups so they can go to a specialist processor for recycling.

“The Take It Back campaign is also about promoting reusable cups and helps make on-the-go coffee a far more sustainable option.”