Train operating company, Chiltern Railways, has announced that it will be the first train operator to recycle their coffee cups at railway stations.
Currently, just 1 in 400 of the 2.5bn cups are recycled across the UK.
With this in mind, the train operating company, which is part of the Arriva UK Trains group of companies, has decided to tackle the issue as part of their commitment to addressing environmental challenges. They hope to set the standard for train operators in the UK.
The TOC is working in partnership with Simply Cups, the only dedicated and workable cup recycling scheme in the UK currently.
The difficulty, up until now, is that the drinks cups are fused with polyethylene, this is to make them waterproof – however, they cannot be separated again at a recycling mill. The scheme will see the installation of special bins at railway stations to encourage passengers to separate the coffee cup waste into categories, these are lids, liquids, and cups.
Collecting the cups as soon as the passenger has finished with it minimises contamination. The waste will be removed by Simply Cups and taken to a specialist recycling centre to turn them into pens and notepads, which Chiltern Railways plans to incorporate these into its branded merchandise.
What did the officials say?
Alan Riley, Customer Services Director for Chiltern Railways, said “With the knowledge that over 2.5 billion paper cups are making their way into landfills and incineration each year, we feel it is important to play our part. We are creating a new template for the rail industry and providing our customers with a way to reduce their plastic waste. This scheme is unprecedented at stations and we’re proud to be championing it on behalf of our customers and generations to come”
Peter Goodwin, Cofounder of Simply Cups, said “For train and station operators, single-use coffee cups have quickly become a major constituent of their overall waste. Recognising this, and a need for a practical recycling solution, we’ve been delighted to work closely with Chiltern Railways to help them implement new processes that will mean their used cups will be segregated, bagged and then collected before being reprocessed at one of our recycling facilities. What was once a problematic waste stream will become a valuable raw material for our range of functional recycled products”.
- Visit the Chiltern Railways website
For more information