Get Recycling! And Get Rewarded.

We know for many of our customers it’s frustrating not to be able to recycle paper cups.

The challenge is the inner polyethylene liner, which makes this difficult. But it can be done.

We’ve trialled a new approach with our waste services provider to try and tackle this challenge – if we can separate cups from the rest of our waste, they can be properly recycled.

And we reward our customers who get into the recycling habit with a discount on every drink bought. Every single time you bring in your own tumbler or cup, you’ll get a 25p discount on your drink.

We also sell a £1 reusable cup, as well as a range of stylish tumblers for you to enjoy.

How we recycle

Behind the scenes in our stores we separate our waste into six streams:
  • Organic waste, leftover food and coffee grounds
  • Dry mixed recyclables
  • Cardboard
  • General waste
  • Milk bottles
  • Aluminium canisters
These are collected and sorted. In this way over 90% of the waste generated at store level is diverted from landfill.

Cup recycling - one stop shop

Now we’re adding a new cup recycling bin to the solution, starting with a select number of stores in central London.

Customers can:
  • Tip their liquid
  • Bin their sleeve and lid
  • Drop their cup in the slot
From this point on, their cup will be recycled. We’re committed to accepting all cups – no matter what coffee shop they come from.
But that’s not all

It’s not just about our cup bins. We’re looking at a whole range of innovations to drive new behaviour to get recycling:
  • Out of store. We’re working in partnership with other industry players and Hubbub to provide collection points in the high street, so that you can drop cups for recycling across your town
  • Collection where you work. Our “Cup-Care” scheme collects used Starbucks cups in office environments where we have food service stores
  • A truly recyclable cup. As a global business, we are putting major effort into testing other cup designs and models. We’re looking at different bonded linings, compostable cups and others too


Beyond recycling we have reduced material in our hot and cold cups, saving the equivalent of 700,000 cups per month.

In 2014, we introduced the Earthsleeve. Layers of lightweight, 100% recycled and recyclable paper that save the equivalent of three million sleeves per month.

And the Earthsleeve means we can use single wall cups, which reduces paper, energy and water in the production process.

Working together

We’re members of the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) and the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG). Together we are working to increase recycling. In June 2016, we launched a joint manifesto to drive the industry towards that goal. Learn more about the manifesto here.