Square Mile Challenge

Hubbub UK


The “Square Mile Challenge” was an innovative, ambitious coffee cup recycling campaign that aimed to prove that paper coffee cups can be collected and recycled at scale.

The UK throws away a whopping 2.5 billion coffee cups a year. This equates to 7 million coffee cups every day. Less than 1% of these cups are recycled due to the mix of the plastic film on the inside of the cups which needs special treatment to separate and recycle.

To solve this major issue, Hubbub, an environmental charity, partnered with Simply Cups, a waste management and recycling company and the City of London Corporation to create and deliver the Square Mile Challenge, an innovative and ambitious coffee cup recycling campaign, supported and funded by a coalition of companies within the UK coffee industry.

The campaign successfully collected 509,091 cups in the launch month, and 4 million cups in total, and proved the power of collaboration between the third, public and private sector in working on a shared issue, in this instance creating a new recycling stream within the City of London.

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