Coffee-cup recycling

Submitted by DanEdw on Mon, 08/11/2021 - 15:22


We’ve achieved 100% diversion of waste from landfill and our coffee cup recycling scheme is helping us increase our recycling.

Well-being goals

A resilient Wales

Ways of working

Long term Collaboration

Our responsibility

At Transport for Wales we recognise our responsibility to care for the environment and our communities which is why it's important we appropriately manage our environmental impact, including the waste in our stations. The convenience of eating and drinking on the go has become more popular with busier lifestyles but this can mean a lot of packaging.

In the UK, we get through a staggering 13 billion plastic bottles, 9 billion drinks cans and nearly 3 billion coffee cups every year! While plastic bottles and cans are widely recycled, it's not as easy to recycle a standard disposable coffee cup as it's made of different materials. The mixture of paper and plastic in the inner lining makes it difficult to recover a marketable material and, while it can be done, there are currently only a small number of specialist plants in the UK that are able to do it. As a result, only 1 in 400 of these cups is recycled.

Recycling points

When Swansea Environment Centre contacted us about the 'On the Go' recycling campaign taking place in the city, we were excited to get involved. We’d already pledged to divert at least 95% of our waste away from landfill and increase our recycling to above 50% of our current rate and felt this was the perfect opportunity to trial the recycling of hot drink cups at Swansea Railway Station. The recycling points at Swansea station allow our customers to dispose of their cups, lids, and any excess liquid.

The cups are collected by Swansea City Council and sent to the James Cropper specialist recycling plant in Cumbria to be recycled into paper and sustainable packaging. We look forward to seeing the results of this trial and, if successful, hope to roll out hot drink cup recycling points to more of our stations across Wales.

“We’re really excited to be collaborating with The Environment Centre and Swansea City Council on our hot drink cup recycling scheme and hope that this will encourage others to start their own similar schemes

 Lee Lawrence-Hodges

Swansea Station Manager