Train operator Chiltern Railways has implemented coffee cup recycling at all of its stations, with the official launch at Marylebone Station in London.
The rail firm is working in partnership with its facilities partner Aktrion Facilities and Simply Cups, the UK’s first nationwide cup collection and recycling service.
This scheme will see the installation of special bins at Marylebone which will aim to encourage customers to separate their coffee cup waste into three categories, lids, liquids and cups.
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The used cups will be collected by Simply Cups, which will then give them a second life by turning them into functional new items such as pens and notepads. It will also turn the used cups into new reusable cups, a world’s first said the firm, and will be incorporated into the railway’s branded merchandise.
Ten bespoke branded bins are now in location at Marylebone station from which it estimates that around 300,000 cups will be collected and recycled every year.
Chiltern Railways customer services director Alan Riley said: “With the knowledge that over 5 billion paper cups are making their way into landfills and incineration each year, we feel it is our duty to set a standard of excellence for the rail industry and provide our customers a guaranteed way of recycling their used cups. This scheme is the first of its kind in the rail industry and, while we’re proud to be championing it on behalf of our customers, the hope is that this is quickly adopted across other parts of the rail network.”
Simply Cups co-founder Peter Goodwin said: “For train and station operators, single-use coffee cups have quickly become a major constituent of their overall waste. They not only quickly jam up bins but also pose a real recycling headache since they are often mixed with other waste streams. Customer confusion over which type of bin to use is also rife. We hope to solve both of these issues through placement of our newly-designed bins at stations that will make it far simpler for customers to put their used cups in the right place.”