Cup recycling bins on campus

Sustainability's Circular Economy team are working with Bristol Waste Company to offer more recycling opportunities for single use hot drinks cups. From Monday 16th November there will be five new cup recycling bins on campus, located at Priory Road, Tyndall Avenue, Royal Fort Gardens, Park Row and Cantock’s Close.

We recommend reusable cups wherever possible, but on the occasions where people forget theirs or have a spontaneous urge for a takeaway hot drink, we’re pleased to offer this solution. Takeaway coffee is commonplace during the current lockdown and coronavirus pandemic limitations; many coffee shops can only offer takeaway rather than sit in with a crockery cup, and more people are opting to enjoy open spaces and walking as part of daily exercise where gyms and leisure activity centres have closed.

If you’ve forgotten your reusable cup, make sure you put your single-use takeaway cups in one of the new designated bins around campus. Every paper cup popped in one of these convenient cup bins will get a second life as high-quality paper, packaging and stationery products. Proper disposal of paper cups in the bins will contribute to a cleaner, greener campus.

Takeaway cup recycling facts and information: 

  • With 3 billion coffee cups being used and thrown away each year in the UK, and less than 4% currently recycled, the new coffee cup bins on campus will keep them out of landfill and increase recycling.

  • Every day 7.5 million coffee cups are thrown away as litter in our streets and parks, rather than put into a bin. Using the bins will help our Gardens & Grounds team keep our campus tidy, as well as the wildlife in our gardens.

  • Every paper cup disposed of in one of these designated bins, it will go to Avonmouth to be baled and onto James Cropper paper mill in the Lake District to be made into stationery and packaging. Here the plastic lining is removed from the cup, allowing the paper to be recycled and turned in to high-quality items such as notebooks and paper shopping bags.

  • For every 10,000 paper cups recycled in Bristol’s cup bins, Bristol Waste Company have teamed up with One Tree Per Child to plant a tree. So, recycling your cup will help rewild our local environment.

  • Australian actor Olivia Newton-John helped set up the One Tree Per Child project.

  • #ForCupsSake - the cup bins and branding were designed with leading environmental charity, Hubbub, to recycle single-use takeaway paper cups within Bristol.

  • Bristol Waste Company estimate that the 30 bins in central Bristol, along commuter routes, and in the shopping areas of Cribbs Causeway, The Galleries and Cabot Circus could help Bristol recycle 4 million cups. We’re pleased to offer five more!

  • The Cup Fund - Funding for the project was awarded through Hubbub, who launched The Cup Fund thanks to the 5p charge on disposable coffee cups voluntarily introduced by Starbucks to reduce plastic pollution.

Statements from the companies involved

Gavin Ellis, Director and Co-Founder of Hubbub said:

“While reusable cups are the most environmentally friendly choice, billions of paper cups are still being used each year and most aren’t recycled. We know that people generally want to do the right thing with recycling, but three in four people are still unaware that cups need to be collected separately from normal card and paper.

“The UK wide Cup Fund projects are helping to raise awareness and introduce eye-catching cup recycling points in high footfall locations, and we hope to make it as easy as possible for Bristolians to recycle their cups when they’re out and about.”

Richard Burnett, recovered fibre expert at James Cropper Paper Mill tells us:

“Disposable cups are made up of 95% high-quality paper fibre with a 5% thin coating of polyethylene (plastic). Using our unique CupCyclingTM facility, which has the capacity to upcycle 500 million cups every year, 95% of waste is converted back into paper and energy is derived from the remaining plastic in the production of recycled paper. This gives a second life to valuable fibre and creates a closed-loop solution to the global problem of disposable cup waste.”

If you have any questions, please contact

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