Coffee cup recycling took a step forward today with Costa Coffee, part of Whitbread, committing itself to recycling the same volume of cups it puts onto the market.
In a form of self-imposed producer responsibility, the company said that this would help to tackle the challenge of coffee cup recycling and stop the cups ending up in landfill.
Pledging to recycle up to 500 million coffee cups a year by 2020, the equivalent of its entire yearly sales of takeaway cups and a fifth of the 2.5 billion takeaway coffee cups consumed as a nation each year, the company highlighted its involvement with paper mills and its plans to work with the waste and recycling sector.
The cups are likely to go to the James Cropper mill in Cumbria, DS Smith at Kemsley in Kent and the Sonoco Alcore mill near Halifax. Costa is to pay a fee of £70 to the waste management companies for collection of the material. And, it noted that this will give the cups a value of £120 to the companies when a £50 payment per tonne is added from the mills. The price is higher than current mixed paper prices and lower than cardboard.
Waste management companies named by Costa as being involved with the project to recycle the cups include: Biffa, Grundon, Suez, First Mile and Veolia.