SPECTATORS at a world cycling event being held in Glasgow this summer are expected to drink a whopping 1.2 million cups of coffee.

The resulting grounds – estimated to reach 8.5 tonnes – will be turned into compost for the Botanic Gardens as part of an innovative recycling scheme being piloted in the city during the 2023 UCI World Cycling Championships.

An expected one million spectators will descend on Glasgow during the championships, which run from Aug 3 to 13.

More than 60 venues across Glasgow have come together to launch Grounds For Recycling, a sustainability project by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce supported by Zero Waste Scotland and Glasgow Life.

Launching on July 25, coffee grounds from participating venues will be collected by B-Corp certified and sustainable logistics provider, Urb-it and delivered to Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens via their e-cargo bike fleet.

From there, the used coffee will be turned into compost to build ecosystems that capture carbon, rehabilitate soil and support wildlife and biodiversity across the famous West End gardens.

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The 20-day campaign aims to demonstrate to hospitality and leisure businesses across the city the benefits of being a circular business that can positively impact the planet and reduce costs.

Former Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year finalist Jenny Graham, the fastest female to circle the earth on a bike, is backing the scheme.

In 2018, over the course of 18,000 miles, Jenny gained the round-the-world cycling record with an incredible finishing time of 124 days and 11 hours. She wrote a book about her achievement, called Coffee First, Then The World.

Jenny said: “I struggle to think how much coffee I had during my world record attempt, but it perhaps will match the 8.5 tonnes that will be collected during the UCI World Championships.

“I will be honest that I didn’t really think about what happened to the used ground coffee and I suspect many of the spectators and athletes competing this year will be in the same boat. But it is critical that we ensure global cycling events consider their circular credentials and there is no better city to lead that fight than Glasgow.”

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce's senior project lead Rebecca Ricketts said: “Global events held in Glasgow create a platform to highlight these types of challenges and can be used as a catalyst for making significant progress towards our net zero ambitions.

“Grounds For Recycling has been developed from direct feedback from businesses that note grounded coffee is wet, heavy and expensive to dispose of responsibly. They want a convenient way to reduce both the cost and labour of this daily operation.”

Rebecca added: “The hope is that Grounds For Recycling will save businesses money, make our city more circular and progress our collective ambition for Glasgow to become net zero carbon by 2023.”