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Selfridges to recycle coffee cups to make shopping bags

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Selfridges is the UK’s first retailer to up-cycle its coffee cups and reprocess them into their iconic yellow shopping bags.

Selfridges will repurpose its used cups from its food hall and offices by ‘tipping, flipping and stacking’ them to ensure any remaining liquid is drained. The lid, sleeve and cup will then be separated and further processed, checked for quality and baled by environmental solutions provider Veolia. For the final stage they are delivered to paper manufacturer James Cropper for reprocessing at its innovative CupCycling plant.

How ‘green’ are the new bags?

The up-cycled bags will contain 20 percent cup fibre, the equivalent fo an 8oz cup per large shopping bag.

The bags will display the CupCycling logo and after use will be able to be recycled in the standard paper waste stream.

Chris Brant, director of retail projects and FM at Selfridges, said: “As part of our ‘Buying Better, Inspiring Change’ approach, we are constantly looking for new ways to make our business more efficient. With our partners James Cropper and Veolia, we can take coffee cups, a waste product of ours, and transform them into our yellow kraft bags, thereby closing the loop on that particular waste stream. Not only that, but the bags can still be recycled for years to come.”

“We’re proud to be the first retailer to upcycle our cups in this way. Our customers are becoming ever more aware of global waste issues and I think they will appreciate the story behind the bag.”

Sustainability has been a growing priority for Selfridges and it groups stores, which last year launched its ‘Buying Better’ campaign. By 2021, Selfridges plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 15 percent, while by 2021 the store’s top 30 brands will need to have developed clear sustainability agendas.

Photo credit: James Cropper Cupcyling