Coffee cup recycling service

Available nationwide, SUEZ’s coffee cup recycling service is a simple and practical recycling solution turning our customers’ single-use cups into new products.
The mission
Single-use cups present a big problem in the United Kingdom and the issue is growing year on year. There are currently approximately 20,000 coffee shops on British high streets, compared with 5,000 of them only 20 years ago. In fact, seven million cups of coffee are consumed and disposed of each day in coffee shops, offices, train stations, hospitals, universities and businesses alike, up and down the country.
Single-use cups are made with paper fibre and a plastic lining, which is bonded together with high heat. This use of mixed material ensures the strength and safety of the cups, but makes them difficult to recycle. The coffee cups are recyclable in only a handful of specialist facilities in the UK and less than 1 in 400 coffee cups are recycled.
Our solution

Our vision is to live in a society where there is no more waste. We believe waste is a resource and our goal is to help create a circular economy. Waste prevention is the most important stage of the waste hierarchy and we have some great examples of solutions that have helped our customers remove disposable cups from their waste stream. However, where replacement of disposable coffee cups with reusable ones is not possible, we have a solution that will ensure that the single-use cups will be given a second life.


We’ve introduced a simple and practical coffee cup recycling service to help our customers implement a closed-loop recycling solution in their business. We supply our customers with a sustainably-sourced cardboard box for the collection of empty coffee cups. Our service includes three box sizes, so that the capacity can be matched with each customer’s needs. Once the box is full, it is collected by a SUEZ-approved national courier and taken to our sorting facility in Darwen, where it is prepared for shipment to a reprocessing site.

Coffee cups recycled with SUEZ are turned into high-quality packaging and stationery. Instead of going to landfill or being sent to an energy-from-waste facility, the cups are given a second life as new products that can be further recycled. This is a great example of a circular economy initiative – something that can increase our customer’s green credentials and protect or enhance their brand reputation.


To make our cups recycling service even more sustainable, we pledge that for every cup recycling box sent back to our sorting facility, we’ll plant a tree to help restore woodlands in the UK.

SUEZ CoffeeCupRecyclingProcess 1905 web
The results
  • Simple to use nationwide service
  • Increased recycling and corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance
  • Complete waste traceability
  • Reduction of waste sent to landfill

tonnes of cups produced per annum


cups of coffee consumed in disposable cups a day

in 400

cups recycled today

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