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 so we are rolling out a way of delivering uncontaminated, used paper cups to recycling facilities.

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.

Plus, we also sell a £1 reusable cup, as well as a range of stylish tumblers in our stores.

Cup Recycling

We’re looking at a range of innovations to drive new behaviour to get customers recycling:

  • Out of store. We’re working in partnership with the wider industry 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 sites.
  • A truly recyclable cup. As a global business, we are looking at new cup innovations which are more widely recyclable.

Paper Cup Charge

To help reduce paper cup waste further across our stores in Britain we now charge 5p for a paper cup to encourage customers to bring in a reusable cup. To learn more read about our paper cup charge here.

How we recycle

Behind the scenes in our stores we aim to separate our waste into seven streams:
  • Organic waste, leftover food and coffee grounds
  • Mixed plastics
  • Cardboard
  • Paper cups
  • Aluminium cream canisters
  • Espresso capsules
  • General waste
These can be collected and sorted. And in this way over 90% of the waste generated at store level is diverted from landfill.


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.