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100% of paper cups recycled at Hackney Half Marathon

100% of paper cups recycled at Hackney Half Marathon

Over 17,000 runners took part in the Virgin Sports Hackney Half Marathon on Sunday 19th May 2019. The marathon was the longest race in the UK to eliminate single use plastic, with no plastic bottles being distrusted on the 21km route in favour of recyclable paper cups. We were delighted to recycle 100% of all paper cups that were left in Hackney Marshes and at aid stations.

Virgin Sports pledged to eliminate single use plastic bottles at aid stations for all their 2019 events and will instead offer a new recyclable cup, with 6000 litres of water available at each station. The decision has eliminated 190,000 plastic water bottles from Hackney’s Half Marathon.

Traditional PE-lined paper cups are extremely difficult to recycle as the design requires the inner plastic lining to be separated from the cup, making it difficult to isolate the paper for recycling. The new cups have been designed using an EarthCoating® lining which has 51% less plastic than a traditional paper cup, the EarthCoating® technology uses highly mineralized resin which is designed to aid the detachment of paper and inner lining during the pulping process. This in turn significantly increases the ease of recycling and quality of the end product.

All Cups disposed of in the bins and at aid stations have been delivered to Shredall SDS Group’s London facility, where they have been recycled.

“We are very excited to support Virgin Sport and Hackney Council’s commitment to eliminate single-use plastics at the Hackney Half Marathon. Helping to create a closed-loop recycling process at the event will cement our position as the first choice for UK businesses wanting to outsource their paper recycling needs.” Shredall SDS Group Sales Manager, Ben Shipley.

Our Recycling Process


Like many organisations today, we’re aware of the need to reduce our environmental impact. We are committed to making sure that none of the waste we collect or create goes to landfill and we’re proud that 100% of the paper we shred is recycled. All paper and cardboard are baled at our recycling depot’s and sent to an environmentally approved and accredited mill in the United Kingdom, where it’s made into tissue products and new packaging material.

For more information on our paper cup recycling process

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