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Every coffee cup counts, says Irish packaging recycler

Packaging producer Zeus and paper recycling major DS Smith are rolling out a nationwide coffee cup recycling solution in Ireland. The scheme will target the 200 million single-use coffee cups thrown away every year.

The initiative provides a long sought-after national recycling infrastructure to ensure coffee cups do not end up in Irish landfills. Cups are returned for recycling by participants nationwide using specially designed cardboard collection boxes.

Up to 700 cups per box

Made from recycled paper packaging, these boxes can hold up to 700 used cups. Once full, the boxes will be collected from businesses. To reduce the carbon footprint, Zeus will then compact the boxes and store them until there is a full load, when they will be shipped to DS Smith’s paper mill in Kent for recycling.

‘This is the solution to the problem for every coffee cup in Ireland,’ says Brian O’Sullivan, the owner of Zeus. ‘It is a complete, closed-loop system which has the capacity to recycle every type of paper coffee cup from every coffee shop, office or workplace.’

Towards 2.5 billion cups

DS Smith say it is delighted to be partnering with Zeus. ‘We broke new ground last year when we redefined coffee cup recycling and announced capacity to recycle 2.5 billion coffee cups at our mill in Kent,’ says DS Smith Recycling’s European strategic development director Tom Campbell-White. ‘Building on this, we launched our coffee cup recycling boxes in the UK in September, and we are seeing a great response from coffee retailers and other businesses.’

Food outlet chains joining in

The AIL Group, the retail group behind Abrakebabra, the Bagel Factory and the O’Briens sandwich chain, has signed on as the first customer of the scheme. The collection boxes will be rolled out to 80 O’Briens and Bagel Factory outlets nationwide from January.

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