First Mile and Huhtamaki join forces to increase coffee cup recycling


Recycling firm First Mile has announced a new partnership with sustainable food packaging specialist Huhtamaki that will aim to increase the amount of disposable coffee cups recycled in the UK. 

This partnership will see First Mile collecting used disposable cups from some of Huhtamaki’s customers in London and Birmingham from various coffee chains, restaurants, bars and other businesses throughout the cities.  


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Huhtamaki manufactures recyclable and compostable paper cups, both of which can be handled by this new service.  

All of its cups are made in the UK with 100% PEFC certified paper board from sustainably managed forests.  

The high-quality fibres are increasingly in demand in the paper sector and can be recycled up to seen times without losing their material integrity, said First Mile. 

Huhtamaki’s compostable cups will be processed through First Mile’s new compostable packaging recycling service, which will see them, along with other materials, being transformed into nutrient-rich fertiliser.  

This service correctly recycles cups at the end of their life, realising the positive environmental intentions of Huhtamaki and the customers investing in their use.  

Businesses taking advantage of having their used Huhtamaki cups collected for recycling will join 25,000 firms that recycle over 65,000 tonnes of material in the five million collections that First Mile makes annually.  

First Mile founder and chief executive Bruce Bratley said: “With a growing awareness of recycling and sustainability, the PCRRG reports that paper cup recycling rates have increased from an estimated 1 in every 400 to 1 in every 25 in just two years and we’re keen to increase this further through the work we do. This partnership is a great collaboration, pairing Huhtamaki’s objective of driving long-term sustainability, with First Mile’s innovative approach to making recycling easy for businesses.” 

Huhtamaki UK general manager Keith Crosley said: “The cups we manufacture in the UK are sustainably sourced, responsibly produced and fully recyclable. We recognise that more paper cups need to be recycled and we are actively working on this to further improve recycling rates. Working with First Mile is a fantastic partnership to enable our customers to have their paper cups collected recycled and turned into new products.” 

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