News & Blog

#Cupmovement – Glasgow leading the way with single-use cup recycling campaign

Thursday 31 January 2019

#Cupmovement launch

Almost 500 million single-use cups are used in Scotland each year. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of retailers and national recycling schemes, best estimates show that only 4% of these are currently recycled. With approximately 95 million single-use cups bought in the greater Glasgow area each year, the city is the perfect place to make a significant change.

Keep Scotland Beautiful have designed the Cup Movement – a campaign to ensure single-use cups don’t end up in landfill or as litter, that far more are recycled, and to encourage people to move to reusable cups instead of disposable ones.

The initiative has the support and backing of the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, and some of the UK’s biggest brands including Costa Coffee, Greggs, McDonalds UK, Pret A Manger and Starbucks UK.


Derek Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented:

“The Cup Movement in Glasgow is a truly collaborative initiative that has been 18 months in the planning. We look forward to working with PCRRG members Costa, Greggs, McDonalds UK, Pret A Manger and Starbucks UK and other funders including Excel Vending, Kidd’s and Graphic Packing International to deliver a transformational campaign right across the city. By bringing together businesses, institutions and people, we will be working hard to reach each and every cup before it becomes litter or landfill. Whether it be through recycling or switching to a reusable cup, we want people to realise they have an opportunity to be part of a positive movement for change.”

Neil Whittall, Chairman of the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group, said:

“We are delighted to see this intervention get off the ground and I am grateful to the members of the PCRRG for investing in this inspiring project. It is vital that industry plays its part in supporting behaviour change activities to help us get cups collected for recycling. So, projects like the Cup Movement in Glasgow are important for us to be involved in. It is also great to be working in partnership with such a credible organisation as Keep Scotland Beautiful who are experts in managing environmental campaigns”

Scottish Government Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:

“I am delighted to be supporting the Cup Movement in Glasgow. With up to 500 million single-use cups being used in Scotland every year, we all need to do our bit to make sure they don’t end up littering our streets and our seas.

“Tackling our reliance on throwaway cups and encouraging people to make the right choices are important steps in helping build a sustainable future for Scotland. That’s why the we decided to remove single-use coffee cups from the Scottish Government’s main buildings last year. I’m sure the people of Glasgow will get behind the movement with equal passion.”

Councillor Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability & Carbon Reduction, Glasgow City Council said:

“The Cup Movement in Glasgow is about reducing the consumption of disposable cups, promoting reusable alternatives and making disposable cups easier to recycle.

“I am delighted that Glasgow City Council was the first organisation to sign up to the Cup Movement in Glasgow and I really hope the city gets right behind this crucial campaign.

“We are already incentivising the use of reusable cups at our council facilities and we also want to work closely with businesses, third sector groups and other organisations to deliver actions that make a real difference.

“Simply throwing away a disposable cup is a waste of resources. By helping to change the culture around we consume our drinks, substantial benefits are in reach for individuals, organisations and the environment alike.”



To find out more and get involved in Glasgow’s #cupmovement, visit 

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