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Costa Coffee aims to collect millions of cups for recycling

United Kingdom – The UK’s largest coffee chain Costa Coffee is close to launching a recycling scheme in all of its 2000-plus shops following a ‘successful’ trial in 45 outlets across London and Manchester.

In a move to reduce the millions of used disposable cups that end up in landfill, the chain’s customers will be encouraged to leave or return them to a Costa store where they will be stored on a bespoke rack. Costa Coffee will be assisted by waste management major Veolia, which will transport the takeaway cups to processing plants.

Only one in 400 coffee cups is recycled in the UK because they are made of a difficult-to-recycle mix of paper and plastic, prompting calls for a charge to be levied on takeaway cups. ‘As the UK’s largest coffee shop brand, we want to make it as easy as possible for the public to recycle their used coffee cups,’ comments Costa Coffee’s managing director for the UK and Ireland Jason Cotta. ‘Our research in Manchester and London shows around 40 cups per day are left in stores, which means we have the potential to recycle 30 million Costa cups a year. What’s more, the fact that we will accept competitors’ cups means we could significantly increase that figure.’

Meanwhile, Starbucks is trialling a fully-recyclable coffee cup – the Frugalpac – which, it is believed, will eventually prevent large numbers of cups from being consigned to landfill. Furthermore, a paper cup recycling bin scheme is being trialled in Manchester, supported by McDonald’s, Costa Coffee, Caffè Nero, Pret A Manger, KFC, Greggs and Nestlé.

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