Innovate Blog
Working with Simply Cups – the power of collaboration…

Monday July 24, 2017

Since joining Simply Cups in 2015, Bunzl Catering Supplies has played an active role introducing the Simply Cups collection and recycling scheme to its customers.  The success of the scheme has been driven by collaboration and the desire to drive-forward positive change.

Simply Cups is the UKs only collection and recycling service dedicated to turning paper and plastic cups into second-life materials.  Cups collected by Simply Cups are used to create new products, such as: pens, pencils, coffee cup bins and even park benches.

As part of its commitment to providing customers with solutions for wasting less and recycling more, in 2016 Bunzl Catering Supplies created a communication plan to help raise the profile of the Simply Cups scheme, both to its customers and the wider marketplace.

Releasing three videos from April 2016 and April 2017, providing an overview of how the scheme works and cases studies at Loughborough University and the Square Mile Challenge in the City of London – Bunzl Catering Supplies has highlighted the benefits of the scheme in the marketplace.

As leaders in the catering and hospitality sector, the Bunzl Catering Supplies sales team has proactively introduced the Simply Cups scheme to its customers, and opened critical dialogue on the issue of waste management and sustainability.

Lord’s Cricket Ground plastic cup recycling trial

At the beginning of 2017 Bunzl Catering Supplies teamed up with Simply Cups to facilitate a successful recycling trial at Lord’s Cricket Ground to see, if given the opportunity, whether spectators would correctly recycle their cups. The trial proved extremely successful and it demonstrated the general public’s willingness to participate in recycling.

Speaking of the trial after the event Russell Seymour, Sustainability Manager at Marylebone Cricket Club said “The trial was such a success because it was straightforward for the customer – a good number of people engaged and noticed the new bins, and were willing to use them. Thanks to our partnership with Bunzl Catering Supplies, Simply Waste Solutions and Closed Loop Environmental Services, we were able to effectively close the loop between supplier, user, waste contractor and recycler.”

Loughborough University paper cup recycling

Later in 2017 Bunzl Catering Supplies successfully introduced customers Loughborough University, contract caterer Gather & Gather, English Heritage (Stonehenge) and Puccino’s coffee shops to the Simply Cups scheme. This year Simply Cups has collected over 34 thousand used paper cups from Loughborough University, ready to be recycled into new products.

Speaking of the launch of Simply Cups at Loughborough University, Nik Hunt, Environmental Manager says, “Simply Cups offered an opportunity to take the cups out of general waste and move them up the waste hierarchy – something we are required to do by regulations, but also because it is the socially responsible thing to be leading the way.”

Square Mile Challenge paper cup recycling

In April 2017 social enterprise Hubbub, together with Simply Cups, ran a high-profile paper cup recycling initiative in the City of London.  Supported by Bunzl Catering Supplies, and four of its partner suppliers: Seda UK, Dart Products Europe, Benders Paper Cups and Huhtamaki, the Square Mile Challenge has collected over 1 million paper cups from 25 new recycling outlets and 38 businesses with over 500 employees. The project aims to recover 5 million used disposable cups by the end of 2017.

Talking about the Square Mile Challenge, Joanna Gilroy, Head of Sustainability, Bunzl Catering Supplies says, “This kind of campaign hasn’t been done before, it gave visibility for the first time to the tremendous supply chain that sits behind the coffee cup retailers, who have done a lot of work to reduce waste and recycle paper off-cuts.”

The power of working in collaboration

Due to the success of the Square Mile Challenge, Simply Cups has extended its collection and recycling scheme to businesses across the North West and East Midlands.

The trial at Lord’s Cricket Ground, the introduction of the Simply Cups scheme at Loughborough University, and the high-profile nature of the Square Mile Challenge, have all driven positive change and demonstrated what’s possible if we think about waste as a resource.

Most importantly, these initiatives have demonstrated the power of working in collaboration – lending our support, sharing our knowledge and being transparent about our learnings…this will have a positive impact on how we deal with waste for years to come.


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