Stora Enso, Huhtamaki to advance European paper cup recycling initiative

BELGIUM – Finnish pulp and paper maker Stora Enso and Huhtamaki’s Cup Collective initiative has welcomed its first partners.

The new partners include McDonald’s, SSP – The Food Travel Experts, C2 Centre, and the National Railway Company of Belgium (SNCB), all further supporting the initiative’s ability to significantly increase paper cup recycling volumes in Europe.

The program launched in September in partnership with Co-Cre8, a United Kingdom-based company that designs and implements recycling programs in Europe.

The goal of the Cup Collective is to recycle half a billion paper cups in Europe within its first two years.

“The Cup Collective initiative will create the necessary collection infrastructure to significantly increase the recycling rate of wood-fiber in paper cups,” the companies said at the time of the launch.

The first paper cup collection bins are now available in public venues throughout Brussels including restaurants and transit hubs.

Collected cups are recycled in facilities in the region including Stora Enso’s site in Langerbrugge, Belgium.

Partnership in the Cup Collective is open to a wide range of stakeholders both within and outside of the value chain including food service providers, retailers, transportation services, waste collectors and management services, and other actors across Europe.

The initiative today gathered its new partners and other interested stakeholders in Brussels, Belgium for a panel discussion to highlight the program’s implementation.

Speaking on the day of the event in Brussels, Peter Goodwin, Managing Director and Co-Founder of co-cre8 said: “It is time to make paper cup recycling an easy, everyday activity.

“We are now able to provide a platform to collect and capture the value of paper cups at an industrial scale and are calling businesses to get on board and become part of the Cup Collective program.”

Meanwhile, in July, McDonald’s’ UK branch and Costa Coffee worked alongside Roadchef to fund a takeaway cup collection and recycling program.

According to the companies, 65 new recycling units, designed by Unisan UK, were introduced across Roadchef’s 30 sites to make it easier to recycle takeaway cups.

Consumers can reportedly use the new units to separate their cups, lids, and any leftover drinks before they are sent off for recycling.

The companies explain that the cups are then backhauled via Costa Coffee’s stores and will be processed at specialist facilities.

These facilities include James Cropper’s CupCycling facility, where cups will allegedly be turned into paper and packaging using FibreBlend Upcycled Technology.

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