Muffin Break and 7-Eleven coffee cup recycling plan boosted

Nick Hall

Franchise icons Muffin Break and 7-Eleven have had their coffee cup recycling plans boosted, with shopping centre landlord Lendlease backing the sustainability push.

The landlord announced a new deal with with Muffin Break and 7-Eleven coffee cup recycling partner Closed Loop Simply Cups to install more than 40 recycling bins across its 13 centres.

Lendlease becomes the first shopping centre landlord to implement coffee cup recycling initiatives in all its centres, addressing a growing public concern.

Coffee cup recycling

According to Lendlease, Australians use more than one billion disposable coffee cups each year, many which end up in landfill.

David McNamara, Lendlease head of retail said the landlord was committed to tackling the developing environmental issue head on.

“Lendlease has long-held the view that truly great places should deliver positive environmental and social outcomes alongside financial value. This is fundamental to our vision to create the best places, places for people today and future generations,” he said.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Closed Loop to deliver this service to our customers and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. While this initiative will greatly benefit our environment and communities, we’d still encourage customers to avoid single-use plastics where possible.”

Simply Cups partners

The new Lendlease deal significantly bolsters franchise chains Muffin Break and 7-Eleven, who previously partnered with Simply Cups in 2018.

Natalie Brennan, Muffin Break general manager said that a major challenge in the early days of the chain’s ‘War on Waste’ was educating customers on where they could actually recycle their cups.

“There is a heap of confusion in the market, particularly in shopping centres on what can actually be recycled,” she said.

“The reality is that 99 per cent of Australian coffee cups end up in a mountain of landfill. It all comes down to communication and explanation.”

The new Lendlease deal makes the recycling process far more easy and accessible for shopping centre visitors.

Brennan also revealed that Muffin Break would continue to further its relationship with Simply Cups partners including 7-Eleven, to focus on consumer education, particularly around clean cup collection.

Since the program launched, Muffin Break has not only reduced the amount of coffee cups going into landfill, but also significantly increased its sustainability practices.

“We’ve since removed all single-use plastics from stores, providing more sustainable options for customers including paper straws, bamboo cutlery and paper carry bags. We also changed our takeaway cup lids from black to white, because the laser sorters at the waste management centres can only detect the white lids into the recycling stream,” she said.

Lendlease trial

The newly announced coffee cup recycling partnership with Lendlease kicked off earlier this year with a trial at the Erina Fair shopping centre on the Central Coast. Between August and October more 61,000 coffee cups were collected and diverted from landfill.

Robert Pascoe, managing director and founder of Closed Loop said having a big name shopping centre on-board would hopefully encourage other franchise brands and landlords to follow suit.

“Closed Loop is excited to have Lendlease join the Simply Cups program,” he said.

“We hope that one day all Australian shopping centres will recycle coffee cups. With early adopters such as Lendlease leading the way, we believe we can make coffee cup recycling more common.”