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Canadian coffee chains taken to task over recycling

Canada – Canada’s largest coffee chains are misleading customers about what happens to cups collected in their in-store recycling bins, a CBC News investigation has concluded. The news network has revealed that ‘many paper cups collected by some Toronto Starbucks and Tim Hortons for recycling are sent to landfill, not to a recycling plant as many may believe’.

‘It’s an enormous waste of materials and the value of those materials,’ comments Conrad MacKerron, senior vice-president of As You Sow, an organisation which promotes corporate environmental and social responsibility in Canada.

Coffee is the country’s most popular drink. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canadians drink 14 billion cups of coffee every year. In 2010, Canadians used an estimated 1.5 billion disposable coffee cups.

Both Starbucks and Tim Hortons have faced criticism for disposable cup waste volumes. To address these concerns, both companies have made public commitments to environmental responsibility, including in-store recycling bins for paper cups and offering ceramic mugs to people who don’t need a take-out cup.

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