Teen launches coffee cup recycling campaign for city centre

Olivia Herries wants more recycling of coffee cups in St Albans city centre.

Olivia Herries wants more recycling of coffee cups in St Albans city centre. - Credit: Olivia Herries

A 17-year-old girl has devised a plan for coffee cups to be recycled across the city centre.

Olivia Herries, a sixth former at St Albans School, has started a petition to get coffee cup specific bins in St Albans city centre and has created a YouTube video to inform people how it would work.

Olivia said: "I want to make St Albans more environmentally friendly and more waste aware.

"There are numerous coffee shops in St Albans city centre: Nkora, Café Nero, Pret, Costa, Charlie's and Gail's to name a few.

"Despite this, due to the lack of streamlined coffee cup disposal points near to the shops themselves, nearly all of them will be thrown into general litter bins and then taken to landfill.

"Disposable coffee cups are difficult to recycle because they have a thin plastic lining coated onto the paper cup. However, there are four specialist recycling plants in the UK which have the facilities to recycle them.

"Some St Albans shops already offer in-store cup recycling - but this is no use if you are already 100m up the road! We need specific bins."

She said that when researching the problem she found that Oxford implemented a system in early 2020 with specialist bins, with aims to recycle 350,000 paper cups in its first year.

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She said: "It is time for St Albans to do the same - especially since there are so many brilliant coffee shops in the city centre.

"The bins should contain compartments for the cup itself and the polystyrene lid. As well as an extra compartment for cardboard sleeves.

"Help me to raise awareness and petition for the council to implement a solution to recycle the hundreds of coffee cups that are thrown into St Albans bins each day. If this is successful it can also be the first step to persuade other districts to something similar."

You can sign the petition here: http://chng.it/VSz4HkWW

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