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Canary Wharf recycling initiative makes it a ‘Clean Coffee Zone’

Canary Wharf Group has launched its first ever coffee waste initiative, ‘Wake Up and Smell The Coffee’, making the entire 128 acre Canary Wharf Estate a ‘Clean Coffee Zone’.

The campaign will see coffee cups, lids and coffee grounds generated by over 300 shops, bars and restaurants across the Estate being recycled with the use of designated bins. They will be given second life uses, thereby repurposing hundreds of tonnes of waste generated from coffee drinking each year.

To help increase awareness of waste recovery, those who take part will be rewarded with coffee vouchers for Change Please, an initiative which provides a barista training programme for previously homeless individuals. To encourage people to pledge support, KeepCup, makers of the World’s first barista standard reusable cup, will be rewarding the first 10 pledges each day with a KeepCup. Café Brera will also offer a free coffee to anyone who returns five empty coffees within a fortnight.

Speaking about the initiative, Steve Greig, co- managing director of Canary Wharf Management said:

“Canary Wharf is one of London’s greenest spaces, with over 20 acres of landscaped parks, squares, roads and promenades including the award-winning Crossrail Place Roof Garden. With 900,000 visitors each week, there’s a real opportunity to make a contribution to waste recovery at Canary Wharf.

“Thanks to our ‘Making Sustainability Real’ campaign, we ensure that over 80 per cent of all the waste from the Canary Wharf Retail Operations goes to second life uses, which includes the donation of furniture and surplus food to community schemes. We want to change the perception of ‘waste’, proving that it can be a useful resource. Coffee is just the next step for us at Canary Wharf.”

The campaign is being delivered for Canary Wharf Management Limited (CWML) by the Cawley Group, the waste management company for the Estate and Veris, the sustainability and communications partner.

Kate Cawley, director of Veris Strategies, pioneered the commercial use of food waste to anaerobic digestion in the UK, and has championed the connection between sustainability and social causes in the retail sector since working with Waitrose in 2007. Such initiatives introduced Simply Cups to Canary Wharf Group, which will recycle the coffee cups and lids, as well as bio-bean Ltd, which will turn the coffee grounds into biofuel. She said:

“It’s all about proving that an individual action will genuinely add up to something worthwhile.

“Our team will be out and about talking to people and encouraging them to pledge to help. What’s exciting about Canary Wharf is being able to effect change on a massive scale: half a million cups a year, 300 tonnes of coffee grounds reducing Canary Wharf’s carbon footprint considerably, with local community schemes like Change Please benefitting too.”

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Costa Thomaides, owner of Café Brera added:

“Café Brera was the first coffee shop to open at Canary Wharf. We have been here since 1991 when the UK coffee revolution was first taking off. Initially, coffee was served in polystyrene cups, gradually moving on to environmentally friendly paper cups with sip through lids.  As an independent café, it can be difficult to recycle every disposable item. Therefore, by making Canary Wharf a Clean Coffee Zone, we can combine efforts and tackle waste recovery on the Estate. Café Brera is always responding to the latest trends and new mechanisms of recycling; we’re delighted to be part of the initiative and look forward to seeing the difference it will make.’’

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