Coffee chains to tackle throw away cup scourge
Starbucks, Costa, Pret a Manger and Caffe Nero say they have made an agreement with recycling alliance ACE UK in a bid to reduce waste, according to a report in The Grocer magazine.
A total of 2.8 billion cups are thrown away in the UK every year. Only two recycling centres in the UK, in in Kendal and Halifax have the ability to recycle throw away coffee cups due to the material - polyethylene - used to make the vessels waterproof.
A report out last week from the Marine Conservation Society found that 72 per cent of Scots would back a per cup charge – akin to the 5p plastic bag charge in shops – to encourage people to stop using single-use cups.
The Scottish Government has said it is considering such a policy, off the back of its decision last month to bring in a deposit return scheme for bottles and cans – and the legislation brought in three years ago to tax people using a disposable carrier bag at the supermarket.
However, coffee chains have been facing increasing pressure to deal with recycling as many cups as possible.
Richard Hands, chief executive of ACE UK said the recycling deal would see a "step change" in the recycling of drinks cups.
He said: "The paper cup industry is facing very similar recycling challenges to the ones the beverage carton industry faced when we started our programme ten years ago.
"Whilst it is early days, we have a clear, measured plan agreed and expect to see significant progress in cup recycling over the next two and a half years and beyond."
McDonalds, Greggs and Nestle are among other companies which have also forged an agreement with ACE UK.