New beverage cup recycling scheme launched

Plastic-lined paper cups can now be recycled in the Forest of Dean thanks to a new initiative by the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) in partnership with the Forest of Dean District Council and Gloucestershire’s Joint Waste Team.

The new service enables paper cups - the sort commonly supplied by coffee shops to their customers and readily available at fast food outlets and petrol stations up and the down the country - to be recycled in the five dedicated food and drink carton recycling banks in the district.

Councillor Sue Coakley, Chair of Gloucestershire’s Joint Waste Committee said: "The carton recycling banks already accept the type of packaging usually associated with fruit juices, milk drinks and premium soup brands but from this month plastic-lined paper cups will also be allowed.  The change is the result of an agreement between ACE UK, which operates the banks, and high street retailers and cup manufacturers and is a great opportunity for residents in the Forest of Dean to recycle even more of their waste. 

"We would always ask residents to use re-usable cups where possible, however, we do want any single-use cups to be recycled and this initiative makes that much easier to do and so is very welcome.’ Made from similar materials to food and drink cartons, the cups will be recycled using the same process at ACE UK’s recycling facility in Halifax." 

Councillor Chris McFarling, Cabinet Member for the Environment at the Forest of Dean District Council said: "Britons are currently responsible for binning 25,000 tonnes of beverage cups annually.  That’s more than all the weight of rubbish thrown from Forest of Dean households in an entire year.  Adding paper cups to the items already accepted at the carton recycling banks is an exciting development and a clear step in the right direction."

"All too regularly the packaging from ‘on-the-go' food and drink items, and in particular coffee cups, will end up as roadside litter so this is also a great opportunity for residents to think about the wider implications and opt for a reusable drinks cup if they can.  Most coffee shops are more than willing to fill a reusable cup brought from home," he added.

Currently 7 million single-use beverage cups are used each day in the UK – the equivalent of 2.5 billion per year. 

The five carton banks are located at:  Kings Head public house, Birdwood; Railway Drive Car Park, Coleford; Newerne Street Car Park, Lydney; Bream Road Car Park, Lydney; and Lewell Street Car Park, Newent.

Residents are reminded that paper beverage cups should not be placed in the paper recycling banks or in the blue kerbside bag due to their plastic coating.

Additional Information

The Joint Waste Partnership provides waste and recycling services on behalf of Cheltenham Borough Council, Cotswold District Council, Forest of Dean District Council, Tewkesbury Borough Council and Gloucestershire County Council. 

About ACE UK

The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) UK provides a platform for the industry to profile and benchmark cartons as a renewable, recyclable and low-carbon packaging choice, and to drive its environmental initiatives. This includes running the industry’s carton recycling programme.

ACE UK represents Elopak, SIG Combibloc and Tetra Pak, the leading manufacturers of beverage cartons for the UK market. It is also supported by BillerudKorsnäs and Stora Enso, which produce about 98% of the paperboard used by ACE UK members to manufacture beverage cartons in Europe.

In September 2017, 14 organisations from across the paper cup supply chain signed an agreement with ACE UK to open up its carton recycling service to paper cups so that more cups could be recycled.

The organisations signed up to the agreement are: Benders Paper Cups, Bunzl Catering Supplies, Caffe Nero, Costa Coffee, Dart Products Europe, Greggs, Huhtamaki, International Paper, McDonald’s UK, Nestlé, Pret A Manger, Seda Group, Starbucks, and Stora Enso.





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