7-Eleven, Simply Cups initiative saves 20 million takeaway cups from landfill

By Sarah Stowe | 24 Aug 2021 View comments

From this to that…takeaway cups recycled into a car park bumper thanks to a joint recycling initiative between Aussie convenience chain 7-Eleven and Simply Cups .

The project has saved more than 20 million takeaway cups from ending up in landfill.

Each year the retailer sells more than 80 million drinks cups. The Simply Cups program helps separate them from other waste and turns the takeaway items into higher value products such as garden beds, fence posts, wheel stops, and in the near future, road surfaces.

More than one billion cups end up in landfill in Australia each year. Single use cups can’t be recycled in standard kerbside recycling units due to the plastic coating.

However, 7-Eleven’s Simply Cups recycling units enable takeaway cups of any brand, coffee lids, and plastic straws to be collected, processed, and recycled.

After three years the joint initiative with Simply Cups’ company Closed Loop has reached the 20 million cup milestone thanks to 7-Eleven stores in Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia which house cup recycling units.

7-Eleven Australia CEO and managing director Angus McKay said “Twenty million cups recycled is a great number to reach, but we want to increase the rate of recycling. We have more than 660 cup recycling units installed in our stores, and there’s hundreds of other recycling stations we’ve supported being installed in schools and other locations.”

A new 7-Eleven #CupRescue Schools program was launched at the end of 2020 with the aim of empowering young people to champion reducing single use cups in landfill in their local communities and there are 100 schools signed up to the project.

“We’ll provide participating schools with free cup collection units to enable students and staff to collect cups at their school. All the school needs to do is collect cups and drop them off at their partnering 7-Eleven store.

“I’d love to get cup recycling at every high school in Australia with a local 7-Eleven,” said Angus.

Closed Loop managing director Rob Pascoe said “We are thrilled to have surpassed 20 million cups rescued from landfill. We’d like to thank 7-Eleven, our pioneering partner, who have the set-up the most cup collection points, and collected the most cups. The 7-Eleven Australia #CupRescue Schools Program has been a big success and is helping educate the next generation about how to better recycle.”