We understand that coffee cups pose an industry-wide problem as the plastic lining in the cup means they cannot be thrown into standard mixed recycling bins. Instead, cups must be collected separately to be recycled at any of the four recycling facilities within the UK.
As the UK’s largest coffee shop brand, we wanted to do something to address this recycling challenge. In 2016, we became the first coffee chain to introduce recycling points in all our stores. That's why we encouraged customers to recycle any paper takeaway cup via one of our 2,700+ stores up and down the country. And we’re not precious about the brand of disposable cup you bring to us either. Even if it’s not a Costa Coffee branded cup, we’ll take care of it and ensure its recycled.
Not satisfied with stopping there, just two years later we partnered with Valpak (an independent waste management service company) to launch the UK’s National Cup Recycling Scheme. Through this scheme, we pay waste collectors an incentive for every tonne of cups they collect, which helps to fund the right infrastructure and processes for cups to be recovered for recycling.
So far, the scheme has helped to recycle over 165 million cups and has resulted in more places like offices, shopping centres, universities, transport hubs and local councils provide cup recycling facilities. We are also thrilled that the scheme is now supported by more of the UK’s leading coffee brands, as we know that working in collaboration is the best way to increase recycling rates.
We are determined to recycle as many cups as possible, and we will continue to roll out dedicated cup recycling points to as many of our stores as possible.