The Eden Project has committed to recycle its disposable beverage cups by joining the Simply Cups collection and recycling scheme.
And in what it described as “a perfect demonstration of a closed-loop system”, it will then be selling a range of products from its gift shop, manufactured from its own recycled cups.
Eden’s chief executive, Gordon Seabright, said: “This is an important milestone for us in terms of our sustainability. One of our key objectives is to foster a closed-loop economy. We hope that being able to demonstrate this with the help of Simply Cups will encourage other liked-minded organisations in our community as well as visitor attractions in other parts of the UK.”
As one of the UK’s most popular destinations, attracting more than one million visitors a year, the Eden Project sells a vast amount of hot and cold drinks, the majority of which are served in crockery which is washed and re-used.
In addition, Eden offers visitors who bring their own cup a discount on their drink and also offers a re-usable bamboo cup for sale.
For visitors who prefer their drink on the go, Eden has changed from compostable cups to offer the new Simply Cups recyclable cup. Eden will put in dedicated cup collection bins located at various points around the site, with clear communications to visitors informing them where they can deposit their cups after use.
Simply Cups will then bulk collect Eden’s used cups before reprocessing into its NextCupCycle™polymer.
Cornish product designer and manufacturer, ashortwalk, then moulds the resin into a range of functional products, thereby displacing virgin plastic.
A range of these products, including a reusable cup, stationery and gift items such as pens and rulers, will then be stocked in the Eden Project Shop for sale back to its visitors.