Caffè Nero, Greggs, McDonald’s and Pret A Manger join disposable coffee cup recycling scheme initiated by Costa Coffee in 2018
Bales of takeaway coffee cups await recycling in the UK, where an estimated 2.5 billion are used every year
A group of the UK’s largest coffee shop chains have signed up to a major sustainability initiative launched by Costa Coffee in 2018. Aiming to recycle 500 million takeaway coffee cups by 2020, the project intends to boost the cup recycling market by increasing the value of waste generated by coffee shops.
Audited by sustainability compliance service, Valpak, the scheme will see coffee retailers pay £70 for every tonne of cup waste collected. In a press statement, Valpak explained that by pushing the value of cup waste to £120 per tonne, the initiative makes processing disposable cup waste commercially viable for recycling firms.
Costa Coffee has previously stated more than 41 million takeaway cups were recycled during the first six months of the initiative in 2018. The scheme is reportedly on track to recycle 100 million cups by April 2019 and 500 million by 2020 – still some way off the estimated 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups used in the UK every year.
“To have Caffè Nero, Greggs, McDonald’s UK and Pret A Manger join Costa Coffee in the scheme further validates the impact it is having and the ongoing investment from these brands will help increase the rate at which waste management companies can extend cup recycling services to more customers,” said Valpak Chief Executive, Steve Gough.
2018 saw the issue of coffee cup waste rise to prominence among UK consumers. Data from Allegra’s Project Café UK 2019 report shows 36% of UK consumers surveyed would pay more for coffee if takeaway cups were guaranteed to be recycled. 64% of those surveyed said discounted coffee provided the greatest impetus for using a re-usable cup in-store.
Pret A Manger, Patisserie Valerie and Paul all offer a 50p discount on takeaway coffee purchased in a reusable cup. Costa Coffee and Starbucks currently offer a 25p discount, Greggs a 20p reduction, while Caffè Nero provides a double reward stamp incentive. In April 2018, Boston Tea Party became the first UK coffee chain to completely ban disposable cups from its 22 UK stores, a move which resulted in a 24% decline in takeaway sales, according the firm.