Kettering General Hospital becomes coffee cup recycling champion

Kettering General Hospital (KGH) has recently launched a campaign to end the use of disposable coffee cups and encourage hydration and good health. The hospital has given 2,000 reusable cups free to staff, provided by its waste management partner, Cawleys, to be used instead of single-use coffee cups.

In the UK, it is estimated some 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups are thrown away every year. In theory, they are "recyclable", but in reality, only a tiny percentage is dealt with sustainably. For a cup to be recycled, it is first necessary to separate the inner plastic layer from the paper outside.

MPs are calling for a 25p "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups - and a total ban by 2023 unless recycling improves.

Over 3,200 people work at KGH and it has 600 beds and sees 40,000 outpatients a year. Cawleys, which manages the waste at KGH has noted that the trust gets through around 22,000 medium sized single-use coffee cups every month.

The campaign is part of KGH’s Care ‘Hydration Campaign’ which encourages staff to hydrate regularly throughout the day, whilst eradicating the need for single use coffee cups that can’t be recycled.  The hospital has also supplied 2,000 reusable water bottles to staff. Doctors, nurses and other support staff know that being hydrated is an important part of staying healthy.

Robin Packman, Waste and Sustainability Manager at KGH, commented:

“Sustainability is an important part of what happens with KGH.  Our vision has always been to eliminate the term waste, by creating sustainable solutions through re-using, recycling or even upcycling.  We want to create an environment that is not only beneficial to visitors and patients, but for all members of staff, giving them the chance help the environment.”

“Working alongside a cracking company like Cawleys, we have enabled staff to get a coffee with the added incentive of a discount on their cuppa each time they use their reusable cup. The aim is to ensure not a single coffee cup goes to landfill, and to ensure everyone at KGH achieves optimal hydration.”

The Kettering Hospital Care Hydration Programme with its free cups made from recycled material, combined with a special waste collection service for coffee and food waste makes the hospital an environmental pioneer.

Cawleys was keen to be involved in the campaign and donate the reusable cups to KGH to show that being hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids doesn’t have to mean creating any plastic waste.

Anna Cawley, Director of Customer Services at Cawleys, added:

“We’re proud to work for Kettering Hospital, which has pioneered a number of environmental initiatives.  Providing the free coffee cups made from recycled material gives the strongest possible signal of our support for recycling, and highlights the fact that it is people who make things happen.  If we work together we can end waste from plastics and the waste which can come from drinking tea and coffee out of home.”

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