7-Eleven recently introduced the Cup Rescue initiative to schools across the country to help drive greater recycling efforts nationally. 

To mark this year’s National Recycling Week, 7-Eleven launched its Cup Rescue Schools Program, which will see infrastructure placed into 100 schools over the next financial year to allow for greater recycling efforts.

While takeaway cups can’t usually be recycled due to their plastic coating, 7-Eleven’s partnership with recycling solution company Simply Cups, enables takeaway cups of any brand to be collected, processed, and recycled.

All collected cups at schools through the donated cup collection units are delivered back to the schools’ local 7-Eleven store for collection by Simply Cups. Once collected, the cups are transformed into upcycled items, such as kerbing, car stops, and garden beds, all made locally in Australia. 

Each year, it’s estimated that over 1 billion cups end up in landfill when they could have been recycled. 7-Eleven and Simply Cups’ goal is to recycle 100 million cups via the initiative to help promote Australia’s push for a circular economy.

The cup rescue journey started in 7-Eleven stores across the country, with over 630 Cup Rescue units deployed in 7-Eleven stores since 2018. Both organisations are now working to grow the program even further by calling on local schools to help fight landfill within their local communities.

7-Eleven CEO, Angus McKay said, “We’re one of Australia’s leading coffee retailers, and we acknowledge that the amount of coffees we sell is contributing to the number of cups going into landfill. We partnered with Simply Cups in 2018 to take the lead on this issue in Australia and be part of the solution to make take-away cups recyclable. We believe engaging young Australians – who are passionate drivers of change – will enable us to achieve our goal of diverting as many cups as possible from landfill.”

Closed Loop managing director, Rob Pascoe added, “More than 14 million cups have been rescued from landfill so far. Stacked end-to-end, these cups would stretch the distance of Brisbane to Melbourne.

“Educating Australians how to better recycle has always been one of the industry’s biggest challenges, and many today do not know coffee cups can be recycled. We aim to make sure young Australia’s have a better understanding so they can lead Australia towards a more sustainable future.”

To date, seven schools have engaged in the 7-Eleven Cup Rescue Schools Program, including St Joseph’s Catholic College (NSW), Mt Maria College (QLD), Toorak College (VIC) and Glendale Technology High School (NSW), with nine more set to have cup recycling units installed next month.