Good Cup, Bad Cup

Reducing single-use plastic waste in cafés

Each year, the UK uses 3.2 bilion disposable coffee cups, and England alone 5.35 billion single-use plates and cutlery – most of which are plastic.

As a result, there are increasing commitments to legislation that will ban single-use items in the service industry. For example, from June 2022, single-use plastic items, including cutlery, plates, stirrers, polystyrene cups and food containers, will be banned in Scotland, with the rest of the UK likely to follow suit.

For independent cafes in Greater Manchester, understanding the lifecycle of packaging in your business, and how to better embed sustainable practices can be a real challenge, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to innovate and connect with your customers, many of whom are increasingly eco-conscious.

The Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub is a local innovation programme which helps businesses across Greater Manchester create sustainable solutions for plastics use and waste management. We offer free support to SMEs based in Greater Manchester, with less than 250 employees and less than €50m turnover.

We’re looking to bring together a group of local independent cafes to be part of a project to improve sustainability across your operations and supply chain.

What to Expect

  • Understand the world of single-use, and how materials are made, used and disposed of
  • An insight into where costs, waste, resources, and environmental impact can be reduced for each cafe.
  • Workshops with materials experts to share findings, and ideas for becoming a more sustainable business.

Free support requires businesses to:

  • Register via the SMI Hub
  • Join us for a 2hr workshop
  • Share information (in confidence) about the materials you use


This workshop has now closed. Find out more about the project here

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