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Coffee cups needn’t go to waste


One of the world’s leading resource management companies is rolling out a recycling solution that reduces waste caused by one of the world’s most popular drinks.

Veolia‘s coffee cup recycling initiative is designed to gather takeaway cups before they hit the general waste stream. This ensures a higher quality material is available for recycling into something new. Following trials – backed by partners including Costa and Starbucks – Veolia is now rolling out its coffee cup solution across the UK.

Its bespoke recycling bin, which can be used in a variety of locations, allows consumers to ditch any liquid still in the cup – before they put it in the bin. Again this is vital to ensure as much of the cup is as recoverable for reuse as possible. And a poll by YouGov reveals 88% of the public would actively use a recycling service like this.

Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice-President at Veolia UK & Ireland, said: “Over the last six months a lot of activities have been taking place with our customers, such as Costa and Starbucks to overcome our biggest challenge – contamination in the cups. As a result, we’ve worked on a solution that will separate the cup from the general waste stream as soon as the customer has enjoyed their drink – and we’re thrilled to see so much public support for cup recycling.

“Coffee cup recycling is now happening across the country but I’d like to take this opportunity to further encourage a mass collaboration between designers, manufacturers, vendors and consumers as we all have a part to play in making all of our packaging more environmentally friendly and ensuring our resources are kept in the loop for longer.”

And manufacturers are responding. Southampton firm, Biome Bioplastics – for example -is making takeaway coffee cups made from plant-based materials. While Frugalpac cups – tested by Starbucks in 2016 – are recyclable in normal paper mills.


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