#TakeItBack initiative gives a boost to Glasgow's cup recycling ambitions

Our #TakeItBack initiative, Scotland's first cup collaboration makes cup recycling widley available in the city centre of Glasgow.

We have joined forces with Glasgow City Council and some of the country’s biggest coffee retailers to increase cup recycling rates in Glasgow. The #TakeItBack initiative points Glaswegians to 65 major coffee chain stores in the city centre that will take back any cup for recycling. This is a much-needed solution for single-use cups, which currently are not accepted by the city’s blue on-the-go recycling bins and must therefore be sent to landfill.

Our research has found that 70% of Glasgow's coffee drinkers were keen to recycle their cup, but only 12% were able to do so properly. By raising awareness of the #TakeItBack facilities available in Costa, McDonalds, Pret and Starbucks stores, we hope cup recycling rates will increase.

Paul Wallace, our Campaigns and Social Innovation Manager, commented:

“Everyone needs to play their part if we are to reduce the nearly 500 million cups that end up in landfill or as litter each year. #TakeItBack is a perfect example of this, bringing together the council, retailers and the public to create change.

Glaswegians told us that they wanted to recycle their cups and this is our response. Ultimately, this initiative is providing the opportunity for everyone to make a small yet impactful choice by recycling their single-use cup.

Initial data from Pret indicates that they are recycling an average of 15,000 cups per month across their five participating stores.  We hope that by raising awareness of the in-house cup recycling facilities available, we will see more and more people holding on to their cups to ensure that they get recycled.”


Glasgow City Council is a founding member of Cup Movement, with the campaign mentioned in the council’s recently approved Plastics Reduction Strategy. The Council is supporting #TakeItBack by helping to spread the word and adding messaging to the city’s blue bins, above the ‘No coffee cups’ signage, advising people to #TakeItBack.

Councillor Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability & Carbon Reduction was in George Square to see the updated bin signage. She said:  

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

“I hope that people will stop to think when they are throwing away their single use cup, pay attention to the new labelling and #TakeItBack.”





06 February 2020

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