• Program participants from Toorak College.
    Program participants from Toorak College.

High school students around Australia can now access free infrastructure to help them champion rescuing single-use cups from landfill through the 7-Eleven #CupRescue Schools Program.

7-Eleven Australia has been the pioneering partner of Simply Cups since 2018, and to date, the program has rescued more than 16 million cups from landfill, which were then upscaled into a range of recycled products. This week, the program hit the milestone of five million cups collected.

According to 7-Eleven, despite this partnership, more than one billion single-use cups still end up in landfill every year, and the convenience store giant would like to do its part to change that.

Recycling units and cups.
Recycling units and cups.

Angus McKay, 7-Eleven CEO and managing director, said the program has gone live in more than 50 schools since it launched in late 2020, but there’s ambitious plans to rapidly expand.

“Young people are the voice in many households and communities challenging us on the amount of waste goes to landfill, so we decided to engage with them to develop a program that gave schools and students practical tools to empower them to make a difference,” explains McKay.

“We’ll provide participating schools with free cup collection units to enable students and staff to collect cups at their school. All the school needs to do is collect cups and drop them off at their partnering 7-Eleven. I’d love to get cup recycling at every high school in Australia with a local 7-Eleven.”

The new extension of the #CupRescue program has been launched with the aim to increase cup recycling efforts throughout the community.

“7-Eleven is the leader in coffee in convenience, selling more than 80 million cups a year. For me, leading the market in the number of cups we sell, means we need to lead in reducing how many single-use cups end up in landfill,” McKay adds.

“We want to change community habits so that firstly, as many customers as possible use reusable cups, and that we recycle at least as many single-use cups as our customers use each year.”

According to Rob Pascoe, managing director of Simply Cups, enabling young Australians could improve community adoption of cup recycling.

“Many people either believe single-use cups can go in the kerbside recycling, or alternatively, that the only option is the red landfill bins. This isn’t correct,” Pascoe continues.

“Enabling young people to act as educators and advocates in their local area has huge potential to change consumer habits. We’re hoping to see the collected cup numbers rapidly accelerate with the help of young leaders in communities across Australia.”

To date, recycling units have also been installed in more than 660 7-Eleven stores across the country.

7-Eleven CEO and MD, Angus McKay, with Simply Cups MD, Rob Pascoe.
7-Eleven CEO and MD, Angus McKay, with Simply Cups MD, Rob Pascoe.

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