Starbucks recycles coffee cups
22nd July 2016 | Recycling
Starbucks is to start trials in recycling coffee cups in its UK shops, which could eventually divert huge numbers of cups away from landfill. In the UK, 2.5 billion paper coffee cups re used each year and it has been found that only 1 in 400 are recycled, with the rest being sent to landfill of incineration. The Government rejected calls for a ban.
The normal takeaway cups which are produced in bulk are made from paper, and laminated with plastic on the inside and it is the separation of these two materials at the recycling phase which has proven difficult and expensive in the past.
Entrepreneur and engineer Martin Myerscough has invented the Frugalpac cup, which has a thin film liner which is designed to separate easily from the paper in the recycling process, leaving 100% paper which can be recycled.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will feature the cup in his War of Waste documentary which is aired on BBC1 on 28 July. In it, the chef and campaigner has challenged major coffee shop chains to explain why more cups are not recycled and why consumers are not given better information about environmentally friendly disposal.
Fearnley-Whittingstall’s campaign has led to the industry setting up a Paper Cup Recycling and Recovery Group (PCRRG) to examine the issue in more detail. This includes a pledge to significantly increase paper cup recycling rates by 2020, signed by 30 companies, including Caffe Nero, Costa, Greggs, Marks & Spencer, McDonalds, Pret a Manger, Starbucks and Waitrose.
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