Our Cups

At Costa we are proud of our iconic takeaway cups and are working hard to ensure that more of them are being recycled.

As the UK’s largest coffee shop brand, we want to make it as easy as possible for you to recycle your used takeaway cups and this year have committed to becoming the first ever coffee chain in the UK to recycle the same volume of cups we put onto the market.

Our new initiative will mean that for every Costa takeaway cup we sell, we will aim to ensure that one is recycled. By 2020 we hope to recycle up to 500 million takeaway coffee cups a year, which is the equivalent of Costa’s entire yearly sales and a fifth of the 2.5 billion takeaway coffee cups consumed as a nation each year.

We have launched the new initiative to work with national waste collectors and will be paying them a supplement of £70 for every tonne of cups they collect.  This will more than double their recycling value.

We believe that by creating a market for cups as a valuable recyclable material, we can transform the UK’s ineffective and inconsistent “binfrastructure” and have made it commercially and financially attractive for waste collectors to put in place the infrastructure and processes to collect, sort and transport coffee cups to recycling plants, meaning fewer cups will end up in landfill.*

The initiative works alongside our ongoing in-store recycling scheme, whereby we recycle any takeaway cup left or returned to our stores (see our T&Cs here). We also offer customers 25p off any hot or cold handcrafted drink when served in a reusable cup and are working with a number of designers and cup manufacturers, looking at how to minimalize and eventually eliminate plastic in takeaway cups.

We’re members of the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) and the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG) and are working with the wider industry to help increase recycling rates. In 2016 Costa was the first signatory of the PCRRG’s Paper Cup Manifesto. Click here for more information about the Manifesto.


Costa was one of the first UK businesses to commit to replacing all plastic straws in our stores with a non-plastic alternative and has not used plastic stirrers in our stores for nearly a decade. As part of Whitbread PLC, Costa was part of the first major UK business to sign up to the ‘Refill’ plastic water bottle scheme, providing over 3,500 refill stations across the country. Click here for more information on Refill.

*For more information about the initiative and to find out how you (as a cup retainer, waste collector or organisation who uses takeaway cups, for example) could get involved please email ValPak at cuprecyling@valpak.co.uk.


Creating a litter free environment

We are encouraging our customers to get more from their daily cup of coffee, by offering 25p off any hot or cold handcrafted drink every time they use a reusable cup in our stores (See Terms & Conditions.) We want to help cut down on waste and create a better environment – working with UK litter charities on national programmes including ‘The Great British Spring Clean’. Hear more about our work with Keep Britain Tidy in the video above. Don’t have a reusable cup? Pick up a Costa reusable cup in store today – all profits from the sale of the cup will be donated to the Costa Foundation to help build schools in coffee growing communities across the world.

Upcycle your cup

While we’re working to ensure more of our cups are recycled, why not first get creative with yours and up-cycle them for fun? Get inspired from the video above.