People in South Derbyshire are now able to recycle single use plastic-lined paper cups used by firms like Costa and McDonalds at six special recycling banks.

Food and drink cartons, including cups, often end up in landfill because they are difficult to recycle. This is true in South Derbyshire too with thousands ending up in the district council's black bins for non-recyclable items.

But there is now a way to recycle them thanks to a nationwide scheme using a carton recycling facility in Halifax, Yorkshire, which South Derbyshire District Council signed up to.

The carton facility was initially not developed with cups in mind but, in January, following extensive trials, the drinks carton industry group Alliance for Beverage Cartons and Environment (ACE UK) entered into an agreement to accept plastic-lined paper cups at the plant.

The district council has become one of the first authorities in the country to sign up to the new initiative .

That's as part of its commitment to recycling 19,395 tonnes of household waste per year and 182 tonnes from bring banks per year.

Currently seven million single-use beverage cups are used each day in the UK – the equivalent of 2.5 billion a year.

However, just one in 400 such cups are recycled.

To recycle the paper cups they are pulped alongside food and drink cartons using a large rotating screw which separates the fine polyethylene layers from the paperboard layers and breaks the paperboard down into a fibre slurry.

This takes about 20 to 30 minutes and it is then cleaned, filtered and stored in a large tank ready to be blended with other paper.

When they are recycled, the recovered fibres from the cartons and cups are used to made coreboard for industrial tubes and cores.

South Derbyshire councillor Peter Watson, chairman of the environmental and development services committee at the district council, said: "Coffee cups cannot be recycled through our household collections, so it’s really positive to be able to offer this opportunity to residents.

"The people of South Derbyshire have always responded well to the different recycling schemes we have implemented, and we hope that they will take full advantage of this new service . "

All food and drink cartons taken to bring banks at the district will be recycled at ACE UK’s recycling facility in Halifax.

More details on recycling in South Derbyshire can be found by visiting

Paper cups can be recycled at the following locations:

  • Station Road car park, Hatton
  • Main Street car park, Hilton
  • High Street car park, Melbourne
  • Limetree Avenue, Midway (near the Hillcrest Fish Bar)
  • Woodville Road car park, Overseal
  • Twyford Road playing field car park, Willington