Managing waste

We understand the importance of the responsibility we have as a global coffee business to make better choices when it comes to reducing waste.

Turning waste into resource

We think carefully about how to reduce the amount of resource we use, plus how to recycle our used resources into something new. Below are some of the highlights from our UK and Ireland team over the last couple of years and you can read our policy on managing our environmental impact here.


We've recycled 15,000 tonnes of coffee grounds so far


We work with coffee recycling company bio-bean, a Certified B Corporation™, to turn our spent coffee grounds into Coffee Logs – fire logs for your wood burner or stove. The logs are available for purchase through many major retailers across the UK.

Food waste

We donate our surplus food to those in need where possible, and anything expired is sent to anaerobic digestion where it’s turned into biogas.

Operational recycling

In partnership with Veolia, we recycle plastics and cardboard in our stores. Any residual waste is processed and converted into energy. We currently recycle 60% of the waste we generate and send less than 0.5% of our waste to landfill.


We introduced new glassware for our iced drinks in 2018, which saved around 8 million plastic cups in the first 6 months alone.


We replaced our plastic straws with a paper-based alternative, through close collaboration with our suppliers.

Coffee pods

Our recycling efforts don’t stop at our cups – we also recycle the Costa Coffee pods that you enjoy at home. Whether you drink our Nespresso® or Dolce Gusto® compatible pods, you can pick up a recycling bag from one of our participating stores. Just fill it with your used pods and return it to us in store – we’ll sort out the rest. 

Construction waste

Our focus on respecting resources extends to our store environments too. We often donate used equipment and furniture to charities and social enterprises to help them fit out kitchens and cafes. We're also exploring new ways of ensuring we can reuse our construction waste materials when they are no longer of use to us.


Finally, we're also signed up to the brilliant Refill campaign, which means encouraging people to use reusable water bottles instead of buying single use plastic ones by offering free refills in all our UK stores. We're proud to have been the first big business to join Refill in 2018, creating over 2,000 Refill stations and giving everyone the opportunity to make more sustainable choices. Look out for the Refill logo in our store windows.

What's next?

We take climate change seriously at Costa. Find out more about how we're continuously working at reducing our carbon footprint and reviewing our water use, from bean to cup.