UK recycling company First Mile and sustainable food packaging specialists Huhtamaki have partnered to boost the effectiveness in disposable cup recycling across the UK.

First Mile will collect used disposable coffee cups from Huhtamaki’s London and Birmingham customers and they will then be processed into nutrient-rich fertiliser through the recycling company’s new compostable packaging recycling service.

All Huhtamaki cups are made in the UK with 100% PEFC certified paper board from sustainably-managed forests.  The company produces recyclable and compostable paper cups, both of which will be processed by the new recycling service.

According to First Mile, high-quality fibres are continuously in-demand in the paper industry and can be recycled up to seven times without losing their material integrity. The company said that there are already facilities to recycle every paper cup used in the UK through paper mills.

Businesses interested in having their paper cups recycled can contact First Mile here.

First Mile founder and CEO Bruce Bratley said: “With a growing awareness of recycling and sustainability, the PCRRG reports that paper cup recycling rates have increased from an estimated one in every 400 to one 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.”

Disposable cup recycling: How are companies making the switch?

Due to rising sustainability concerns, the ban on single-use plastics and the problem of tackling unrecyclable disposables, many companies have taken to changing the way they push their sustainability efforts to encourage a more eco-friendly consumer and company habits.

Last week, a Huhtamaki study revealed that recycling a paper cup cuts its carbon footprint by an additional 54%

US coffeehouse chain Starbucks recently introduced a 5p paper cup charge trial in London that aimed to test and influence consumer behaviour towards cutting waste, in February this year.

The coffeehouse chain and UK environmental charity Hubbub also launched the first-ever reusable cup trial at Gatwick Airport in a campaign they call #cupcupandaway, last month. This move followed their UK grant, The Cup Fund, which helped create paper cup recycling programmes across the UK.