Economy

Costa's coffee cup recycling scheme is a flop

Costa's coffee cup recycling scheme is a flop

Britain's biggest coffee shop chain has blamed its customers after its recycling scheme for takeaway cups flopped, with less than 3 per cent collected.

The plastic liners in coffee cups makes recycling hard and there are now only three sites in the UK than can process them: James Cropper in Kendall, ACE UK in Halifax, and DS Smith in Kent.

Five waste collection firms have been involved in developing the new scheme, Veolia, Biffa, Suez, Grundon and First Mile.

Britain's Costa Coffee has given an assurance to recycle half a billion coffee cups by the end of the year 2020, according to reports by Reuters in London.

The company revealed the seismic change in a statement today, which will guarantee the cups are recycled by paying paper mills to do so instead of sending them to landfill. Costa's decision will mean these factories will increase the number of coffee cups they recycle from 14 million to 100 million this year.

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Managing director Dominic Paul issued a challenge to other coffee shops to match its commitment.

There are now three UK paper mills that can recycle the cups - James Cropper, ACE UK and DS Smith - and Costa said they had a combined capacity to process more than 4.5 billion every year.

It said the recycling move would work alongside its efforts to encourage customers to use reusable cups, including a 25p discount for those who bring their own mugs.

Costa and other coffee chains do have recycling collection points for cups in their branches, but most takeaway coffees are consumed elsewhere, including in offices and on the street. "It also dispels the myth that coffee cups can't be recycled".

"This provides increased stability and confidence in the market, which will help waste management companies like Grundon to extend paper cup recycling services to more customers".


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