The Cup Collective (managed by co-cre8), an innovative European partnership program aimed at industrial-scale paper cup recycling, is now live in Dublin. Having launched in Brussels in 2022, and active in a number of cities throughout the EU, the initiative is now in action at a number of Dublin’s most popular coffee spots.
With the goal of making paper cup recycling the norm for everyone, The Cup Collective makes it easy for both consumers and businesses to transform paper cups into new, valuable paper and cardboard products including luxury packaging, greetings cards and high-end stationery.
Caffeine Boost – Ready to Scale
The programme is spearheaded by the Irish Paper Packaging Circularity Alliance (IPPCA) and supported by marquee Irish and International brands such as McDonald’s, Applegreen, Bewleys Tea & Coffee, Butlers Chocolate Cafés and Insomnia Coffee Company. Consumers in Dublin have already given a big thumbs up to the initiative with cup recycling rates of up to almost 20 per cent in the first month alone.
At the launch of The Cup Collective (L-R): Rob Tilsley Fibre Operations Leader James Cropper PLC, Dara O’Flynn Chief Operating Officer Insomnia Coffee Company, Julie Murray Head of Coffee Culture Bewleys Coffee Ltd, Vasilii Stepa Area Manager Butlers Chocolate Café’s, Maria Cassidy Head of Coffee and Innovation at Applegreen, Derek McNicholas Corporate Accounts Manager Panda Ireland and Helen McFarlane Sustainability Manager, McDonald’s.
Segmentation at Source
The scheme focuses on collecting used paper cups in specially designed collection bins supplied by co-cre8, that can be custom branded. With clear instructions, consumers can easily separate out cups, lids and liquid that promises a clear pathway to recycling. By stacking cups in the bins, waste disposal costs can be cut by more than 50 per cent, compared to if the cups were bagged loose.
A New Benchmark
Also employed is a unique scanning app and data platform, which allows for transparent and accurate data tracking of the paper cups from on-site collection to final recycling. This not only enables business to report on their achievements and but also helps them improve recycling performance.
The used cups are then collected by Cup Collective partners, Panda Ireland, and transported to James Cropper Specialty Paper’s manufacturing mill and recycling facility; one of a growing number of facilities actively seeking to recycle paper cups.
Julie Murray is head of Coffee Culture with Bewleys Tea & Coffee, and says it has the opportunity to create a lasting impact:
“Where the cup goes in and all of it is recycled, 95 per cent of the cup is paper, 5 per cent is plastic, and now the plastic and the paper are recycled, so it’s fully circular.”
The Cup Collective is actively seeking more Irish businesses to grow more paper cup recycling points across Dublin. If you are interested in joining then please contact The Cup Collective here.