Good to-go is a scheme launching today for the daily on-the-go coffee drinker to help them be that bit ‘greener’, by offering a street solution to recycle takeaway cups. It is being launched in partnership by Veolia, Westminster City Council and Heart of London Business Alliance, and will initially cover a number of high-footfall streets in the West End around Victoria Station, as well as Piccadilly, St James and Leicester Square.
YouGov research, commissioned by Veolia, indicates that 30% of Londoners buy at least one hot take-away drink each week. This statistic places the capital’s weekly consumption of takeaway cups in the millions.
The scheme will see Westminster street sweepers become mobile coffee cup recycling points as well as the introduction of specialised on-street bins to help people do the right thing. Coffee and tea lovers are being encouraged to look out for and make use of the mobile recycling points through a reusable cup giveaway during the first week of the launch. Every day street sweepers will have a brand new reusable cup to give away to the first person to bring them a cup for recycling.
If the trial is a success, the scheme will be expanded, leading the way to a sustainable and ongoing approach to on-street coffee cup recycling in London.
Helder Branco, Senior Contract Manager for Veolia in Westminster commented: "We want to make it as simple as possible for Londoners and visitors to the city to be able to recycle their hot drinks whilst on-the-go. This new scheme offers a sustainable solution that will reduce litter, works around our busy lives and ensures we can turn this material into new products. Following this initial launch, I am confident the scheme will spread across more of the capital.”
Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Sport and Community, Cllr David Harvey said: “We all need to do more to reduce levels of waste, and Westminster City Council is committed to promoting greener living and the more efficient use of resources. I’ve asked Westminster residents to join me in giving up single-use plastics over lent. Whether it’s straws, bottles or coffee cups we live in a city addicted to plastic - but small changes help make a big difference. I hope that central London’s commuters make the most of this new opportunity to make their daily caffeine hit guilt-free.”
Christina Wells, Deliveries and Wastes Coordinator for Heart of London Business Alliance commented: “Heart of London is looking forward to working with Veolia and Westminster City Council on this exciting and vital project for the West End. By providing easy access to recycling solutions for members of the public and our businesses, we hope to see an ever increasing awareness of key environmental issues. Not only does this project help to keep the area clean, it reduces the need to dispose of coffee cups as rubbish and we encourage everyone to use it.”
To support the launch of the scheme, the YouGov research also highlighted that almost half (47%) of the public would be willing to hold onto their cup for longer if they knew they would pass a purpose-built bin, and nearly a quarter (24%) would go out of their way to use one.
Working with Veolia, major chains including McDonald’s, Costa and Starbucks are now recycling their cups.
All cups collected through the scheme will be taken to a Veolia hub in London where they will undergo a further separation process to guarantee all rogue items have been removed. This is a key step in the process because it will help to ensure a higher quality of material that can be reprocessed into a new product. Veolia will utilise specialist pulping plants which separate the fibres from the plastic lining for recycling.