Northampton urged to ‘sip and separate’ for recycling campaign

Date 13.02.2020

Northampton is set to be a cleaner, greener town thanks to a new recycling scheme.

Up For The Cup is part of a bold, national environmental campaign which aims to collect and recycle as many disposable paper cups as possible.

The project has been funded by The Cup Fund – the UK’s largest grant fund to bolster coffee cup recycling – an initiative from environmental charity Hubbub, financed by Starbucks through their 5p charge on their single use coffee cups.

The challenge when recycling paper cups is they need to be captured separately to other waste as they require the plastic lining to be separated from the paper outer of the cup before the recycling process can take place.

The target goal is to have 160,000 cups recycled in Northampton over this year, as well as change people’s attitudes towards recycling.

Today, the Up For The Cup bins have been officially allocated to their designated locations at the University of Northampton – pictured above, with campaign mascot ‘Cuppy’ – and partner organisations*.  The cup collection bins are located near other recycling and general waste bins.

The bins are eye catching and innovatively designed as they encourage consumers to ‘sip and separate’ both the plastic lids and liquids from the cup when recycling.

This is an important procedure to follow to stop the liquid and lids ‘contaminating’ and preventing the recycling process.

These guidelines should be followed by consumers to ensure the maximum number of paper cups can be recycled:

  • Take off the lid from your paper cup and dispose of it in the bin clearly marked ‘for lids’
  • Make sure your paper cup is empty. If not, empty the liquid in the clearly marked liquid container
  • When the cup is empty and the lid is removed, the paper cups can then be placed into the bin through the correct hole
  • No other waste materials should be placed in any part of the bins.

Project Officer, Emma Stone said of Up For The Cup: “It is great to be working with Hubbub and to see the University leading on an important environmental initiative. We have a big target to reach and really hope the public of Northampton will be ‘Up for the Cup’ with us.

“Our Marketing and Environmental Science students are playing an integral part of the project. This provides them with a great opportunity of working on a ‘live’ socially impactful project and providing valuable experience for them whilst at University, which in turn enhances their future employability.”

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 currently recycled. We know that people generally want to do the right thing with recycling and it was surprising to find that three in four people are still unaware that cups need to be collected separately from normal card and paper.**

“By using the Hubbub and Starbucks Cup Fund to raise awareness and introduce eye-catching cup recycling points in high footfall locations, we hope we can encourage the people of Northampton to dispose of their cups in the right bins and ensure that they are recycled.”

Research shows that more than 22,300 coffee cups are being thrown away in Northampton every day. If laid end to end each day, this equates to 19 times the height of the Northampton lift tower.

Consumers can keep in touch with the campaign and see the progress by following our blog and social media pages. The hashtags for this campaign are #InTheLoop #UpForTheCup

For any enquiries about Up for the Cup, please email: or

Find out more about The Cup Fund.

*The full list of stakeholders where Up for the Cup recycling bins are located are:

  • The Students’ Union, Waterside Campus
  • Grosvenor Shopping, Northampton
  • Northampton General Hospital
  • The Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton.

Notes to editors

**Survey of 3,003 national representative UK adults conducted by Censuswide in June and July 2019.

About The Cup Fund 

Environmental charity Hubbub, with the support of Starbucks, launched ‘The Cup Fund’, the UK’s largest grant fund to support ambitious projects that boost paper cup recycling in the UK.

The Cup Fund is financed by Starbucks, who introduced a 5p charge on paper cups in 2018, to encourage customers to increase their use of reusable cups.

The instore charge has seen reusable cup use increase from 1.8% nationwide to over 5% of all hot drinks sold. In store cup recycling is also offered in over 375 Starbucks stores across Britain, in a scheme that means any brand of cup can be brought back to be recycled.

The Cup Fund winners were selected following a three-month application and selection process, by an independent panel consisting of experts in recycling, infrastructure, behaviour change and communications. Panel members included:

  • Pat Jennings, Head of Policy and Communications, Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM)
  • Jaz Rabadia MBE, Senior Manager of Energy and Sustainability, Starbucks
  • Trewin Restorick, CEO and Co-Founder, Hubbub
  • Carole Taylor, Chair, Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC)
  • Sam Williams, Partner, Barley Communications.