Highland Community Waste Partnership (HCWP) has teamed up with the National Cup Recycling Scheme to launch a new single-use paper cup recycling initiative in Scotland, UK.

The announcement was shared by Scottish environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, which also coordinates HCWP.

The initiative will involve introducing new ‘Cup Box’ infrastructure in the Scottish Highlands region, provided by Valpak.

The Cup Box, which can hold up to 700 paper cups, can be purchased by companies, workplaces, community hubs, and businesses that sell single-use cups in the region.

Companies interested in taking part in the pilot programme will receive two free boxes to try out along with the necessary guidance and campaign materials.

Participating companies/individuals can then arrange a courier via Valpak’s website to pick up the Cup Box for recycling once it has been filled.

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Valpak national cup recycling manager Hannah Osman said: “Valpak has developed Cup Box for small and medium-size businesses across the whole of the UK who are finding it difficult to set up cup collections due to where they are located or the quantity of cups they want recycled.

“By collaborating and providing funding to Highland Community Waste Partnership the Cup Box is helping to ensure the recycling of paper cups from hard-to-reach areas and communities in Scotland.”

The pilot has been launched to test how a cup recycling model works in both remote and rural settings in the Highlands.

It aims to minimise the waste and usage of various single-use items and packaging.

Paper cups used for drinking are claimed to be difficult to recycle as they have a waterproof plastic lining, meaning the collection and processing of these paper cups is typically done separately.

Keep Scotland Beautiful HCWP coordinator Georgina Massouraki said: “Single-use cups are a cornerstone of convenient on-the-go food and drink culture.

“However, from production through to disposal, these items contribute to Scotland’s litter and climate emergencies.”

According to Keep Scotland Beautiful, approximately 200 million single-use cups are used and disposed of in Scotland every year, and out of these, only 4% are recycled. This is mainly attributed to a lack of suitable infrastructure in the country.