Waste News

Costa launches cup recycling scheme amidst criticism from The Times

Costa Coffee

Last week Costa Coffee launched a nationwide recycling scheme that offers to take in ‘any cup’ for recycling.

Active at over 2,000 of its stores the coffee giant will take in competitor cups and customers will be encouraged to leave or return their used cups, which will then be transported to specialist processing plants.

After a trial in London and Manchester stores, the wider scheme will end in January 2017.

However, it has since come under criticism after it was revealed by The Times that fewer than one in five Costa coffee cups are being recycled as part of it.

What’s more it has been discovered that just 14 per cent of takeaway cups were recycled, with around 40 cups per day being recovered.

Costa hopes that some 30 million cups per year shall be recycled once that the scheme is fully rolled out.

Jason Cotta, managing director of Costa, said:

As the UK’s largest coffee shop brand, with stores up and down the country, we want to make it as easy as possible for the public to recycle their used coffee cups. This will not be a trial. This is going to be business as usual.

“We are committed to taking a lead and, like many others, we are working hard to find a cup that can be recycled anywhere. Whilst there is more work to do in partnership with the wider industry, we are excited to see the impact our new in-store recycling offer will have and hope it is embraced by everyone.”

Despite the mixed reaction from newspapers, environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy, said that it was “delighted” that the company has rolled the scheme out and that it is a “fantastic move by Costa and one we welcome in the knowledge that it is sure to reduce waste and litter and so be of great benefit to us all.”

The disposable cup issue came to light at the beginning of the year after a campaign by television chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall found that 2.5 billion cups were being thrown away every year – with just 0.25 per cent of them finding their way to recycling plants.

The government has since ruled out a tax on disposable coffee cups although many major chains have since signed the ‘Paper Cup Manifesto’, which aims to increase recycling ‘significantly’ by 2020.

Andy has worked as a freelance journalist for a number of years and has been published in some of the UK’s top newspapers. He is now the editor Commercial Waste Magazine and contributes to a large selection of headlines and blog articles on the site.

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