We’ve set out a list of FAQs below but if you’re looking for specific information, please use the search bar below to search across the site.

Funding FAQs

Does the fund cover a specific region?

The fund will support projects across the UK. We cannot support projects that take place outside England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.  

What do you mean by ‘registered organisation’?

We expect many applications will be from companies limited by shares or guarantee, charities and social enterprises. You will need to be registered with the appropriate body in the UK and to include your registration number. We cannot accept applications from organisations who intend to register but have not yet done so.

We understand councils do not have registration numbers. If you are from a local authority you can skip this step.

We are a very small organisation. Can we still apply?

Providing you meet the other criteria then yes, any size of organisation can apply. Organisations with a turnover of less than £100,000 will need to submit either their audited accounts or their Management Accounts for the previous twelve months.

Do you fund faith groups?

We can fund any such groups, as long as they satisfy the general eligibility criteria and are applying for funding for a project specifically aims to significantly boost the level of paper cup recycling.

When do we need to run the project to qualify? 

Projects will need to start by the end of September 2019. Your application will need to show credible plans to begin your work in time to meet this deadline.

How much can we apply for?

The fund will provide grant funding of between £50,000 to £100,000. We will not consider applications for more or less than this amount.  

When will successful applications receive the funds?

50% of the agreed funding will be paid out to Grantees on receipt of the signed Offer Letter. A further 35% will be paid on receipt of the six-month report and the final 15% will be paid on receipt of the final year-end report.

How long does the funding run for?  

The grant will provide the required funding for each winning project over the course of one year.

How many grants can one organisation apply for at a time?

 Lead organisations can only apply for one project.

Can applications come from more than one organisation?

Yes, we will look favourably on collaborative applications and we actively encourage you to approach other relevant local stakeholders in your locality to create scale and consistency. Each application will need one Lead Organisation.

What if we have other funding in place before applying?

You may still apply and be eligible for funding, although you will need to demonstrate how the grant will enable you to do additional work which is not already planned for. Please indicate the value, source and use of the existing funding in the appropriate section of the grant fund application form, and how additional funding from the ‘The Cup Fund’ fund would enable your project to fund the following:

  • Recycling infrastructure.

  • Collection costs.

  • Communications materials and PR/marketing support.

  • Staff time to create, deliver and evaluate the campaign.

Can we look for additional funding for the project if we are successful?

Yes, we encourage you to seek additional funding and resource if required to ensure that the project has the best chance of success and ensure that the project has a legacy.

We have already begun recycling cups. Can we apply?

Yes. We are looking for robust plans for significantly boosting paper cup recycling in high footfall locations. If funding can create a step change in the volume of cups you are able to collect and recycle then you are welcome to apply.

How can cups be recycled?

Paper cups can be recycled but they need to be collected separately and sent to one of three specialist mills in the UK – Ace UKDS Smith and James Cropper. All three mills have endorsed this fund.

The following waste management companies now collect paper cups for recycling: Bagnall & Morris, Biffa, Binn Group, BPR, Bywaters, Cawleys, Cumbria Waste, DHL Envirosolutions, Forge Recycling, First Mile Grundon, Helistrat, Paper Round, Printed Cup Company, Select Environmental Services, Simply Cups/Simply Waste / Closed Loop, Simply Waste Solutions, Suez, Veolia, Weir Waste Services, What Rubbish. Check with them to find out who offers collections on your area. You can find more information here.

We’re a waste/recycling company and we’d like to start recycling paper cups, what should we do?

Firstly take a look at the Valpak scheme, it’s free to join and has been set up to commercially and financially incentivise the collection of cups. Then speak to one of the specialist paper mills who recycle paper cups - Ace UKDS Smith and James Cropper.

Can compostable cups be recycled?

Compostable/biodegradable cups can’t be recycled, but they can be composted at industrial composting facilities. They will not biodegrade in any other environments.

Will you accept applications for compostable cup schemes?

The fund is open to a range of applications as long as they have a positive impact on reducing cup waste in their area. Applications for compostable schemes will need to demonstrate how they will ensure that only compostable cups will be collected for industrial composting. 

Can the application also focus on recycling of other materials (e.g. plastic bottles)?

No, this grant fund is specifically targeted to the recycling of paper cups, as they are a difficult material to recycle.

How do you define robust?

Robust plans are laid out step by step, based on strong logic and, where possible, on data and/or past experience.

What are the reporting requirements for successful applications?

Successful applications will need to report back on progress six months from the start of the Fund year and at the conclusion of the Fund year. Reporting guidelines will be provided to successful applications. Details of the timings and requirements for the reporting will be provided to Grantees as part of the Offer Letter.

What will happen to our evaluation data?

We are committed to openly sharing the results of funded projects. Our aim is for paper cup recycling to become widespread across the UK and that funded projects help to establish best practice and act as a source of inspiration for others.

Can I meet you?

As we are a small team and committed to a fair and transparent application process, we cannot offer extra information via phone or face-to-face with applicants. All queries that cannot be addressed by the website and these FAQs should be directed to

How will my application be assessed?

We are committed to careful review. Winning projects will be selected by an independent panel consisting of experts in recycling and communications, plus senior representatives from Starbucks and Hubbub. Funding will be awarded to projects that demonstrate they have ambitious, robust and long-term plans to boost paper cup recycling.

Is there any non-monetary support provided?

Hubbub will also provide a range of optional support that applicants may wish to access.  These will include:

  • Discounted cup recycling bins from a range of suppliers.

  • A free communication guide for the overall campaign, including design templates.

  • Free guidance on best practice for setting up recycling campaigns in workplaces.

  • Free guidance on setting up cup recycling in shopping centres.

  • Free guidance on setting up cup recycling on the high street.

  • A standard evaluation and monitoring template. 

If successful, will we have access to any other support aside from funding?

Successful projects will receive mentorship/support from Hubbub for one year.

Can I receive feedback on my application?

As we anticipate receiving a high volume of applications, it is not possible to provide detailed feedback in all instances. Shortlisted projects may receive feedback on specific items

What happens if my application is successful?

The announcement of successful applications will be made in July and we will contact you to discuss the next steps.

What are the timelines for the grant fund?

  • The fund will be announced on Thursday 11th April

  • The closing date for applications is Friday 24th  May  

  • Grant Panel makes decision on Friday  28th June

  • Announcement of successful applications on Tuesday 9th July

  • Projects will need to start by end of September at the latest

  • The funding is for each project to last for one year