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DS Smith Wins #TheCupFund for Coffee Cup Drop Box Scheme

Leading British recycler DS Smith receives #TheCupFund grant on behalf of Hubbub and Starbucks, to support the fight against coffee cup waste.

London, UK, 11th September 2019: DS Smith, a leading sustainable packaging provider and recycler, has today announced it has been granted funding from Hubbub’s #TheCupFund initiative, the UK’s largest grant fund to support ambitious projects that boost paper cup recycling across the UK.

DS Smith’s Coffee Cup Drop Box is the only national scheme to have been chosen as part of the initiative. The grant will support the roll-out of DS Smith’s specially designed Coffee Cup Drop Box scheme, in partnership with Associated Vending Services (AVS). Each box holds around 700 cups and once full is collected by Royal Mail and returned to DS Smith’s paper mill in Kemsley, the UK’s largest, to be recycled back into new paper packaging products. As part of the development of the Coffee Cup Drop box DS Smith partnered with AVS to trial the service with its members.

AVS members operate tens of thousands of vending machines at locations throughout the UK. The vending machines are present in a varied network of properties including workplaces, local government buildings, NHS sites, leisure centres and cinemas. Each year, AVS members place around 80-90 million paper cups on the market.Funding received through Hubbub will go towards helping AVS members offset the cost of setting up their recycling service, helping to accelerate a nationwide rollout and reach the initial target of 24 million recycled coffee cups.

Our target is to recycle at least 24 million cups in a year alone through our partnership with Associated Vending Services (AVS) members and the funding provided by Hubbub as part of The Cup Fund Grant. The grant will support the roll out of our newly launched Coffee Cup Drop Box which will provide the much-needed national infrastructure to reduce the 7.8 million coffee cups that are currently not being recycled across the UK each day. — Jochen Behr, Head of Recycling at DS Smith

The increase in coffee cup recycling capability is the result of innovation across DS Smith’s Recycling, Paper and Packaging divisions, as well as collaborations with logistic partners and customers. The Coffee Cup Recycling Drop Boxes are available through DS Smith’s ePack ecommerce platform, meaning small and medium size businesses, as well as larger organisations can easily access the scheme.


At AVS we’re committed to encouraging sustainable practices and collecting used vessels for recycling from remote and unmanned sites. We are delighted to be partnering with DS Smith, who have worked tirelessly to ensure this system is as trouble free for the end user as possible. The simplicity of emptying your cup, and dropping it into a container, which is whisked away when full by a carrier who already visits your site, is a fantastic solution for all. — Louise Cummings, Chief Executive Officer at Associated Vending Services Ltd (AVS)

Hubbub launched #TheCupFund, with the support of Starbucks, to kickstart paper cup recycling across the UK. The Fund will support at least ten recycling projects around the country with grants of between £50,000 to £100,000 available to suitable projects.