We think carefully about how to reduce the amount of resource we use, plus how to recycle our used resources into something new.

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.


Our targets

By 2025

Define our global water footprint and develop reduction targets. 

By 2030

Aim to achieve zero waste to landfill at all our retail stores in our key markets. 

By 2030

Enable used coffee grounds to be up-cycled in all retail stores

Recycling in our stores

In partnership with Veolia, we recycle plastics and cardboard in our owned UK stores. Any residual waste is processed and converted into energy. We currently recycle around 56% of the waste we generate, slightly down on our pre-pandemic levels, and send less than 0.5% of our waste to landfill. We continue to engage our team members to boost recycling rates and identify how we can support them recycle more whilst running busy stores with limited back-of-house space.


imageIn all of our owned UK stores we don’t throw away our used coffee grounds, we send them back via our distribution network to a coffee recycling company called bio-bean, a Certified B Corporation™. bio-bean then upcycle the coffee grounds into new products, such as Coffee Logs – planet-friendly fire logs for your wood burner or stove. The logs are available for purchase through many major retailers across the UK. We've upcycled more than 20,000 tonnes of coffee grounds since our partnership with bio-bean began in 2016. Learn more about bio-bean.

Customers can also pick up a free bag of coffee grounds for their compost heap or garden. Please ask your local store for availability.


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

Food waste reduction

Costa Coffee Flat White and Bakewell TartFood waste is a huge challenge globally and we all have a part to play in reducing it. In 2019 we committed to reduce our food waste by signing the Step Up to the Plate Pledge and the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap. In 2022 we joined WRAP’s 2030 Courtauld Commitment, which also has a key focus on food waste reduction. We're striving to get better data on exactly how much food gets wasted across our stores, so that we can put in place interim targets to achieve our ultimate aspiration that ‘no edible food should go to waste’.

Our starting point is improving our food ordering system so that we reduce the potential for food waste to arise in the first place. Our store teams then follow the principles of the food waste hierarchy: sell any unsold food at a reduced price; attempt to donate unsold food to local organisations and charities where possible; recycle any remaining food that is no longer safe to consume. Here are some examples of how we do this:

Reduce to clear

We offer a 50% discount on food during the last hour of trading that is in date but cannot be sold the following day!

Charitable donations

If you represent a charity that could make use of our food surplus and would like to collect regularly from your local store towards the end of their trading hours, please pop in and speak with the Store Manager. For further information read our Food Surplus Store Donations Policy.

Magic bags

We're proud to have a long-standing relationship with Too Good To Go, whose app is the world’s largest business to consumer marketplace for surplus food. At the end of each day, our store teams make up ‘Magic Bags’ of unsold food for collection. Since August 2018 we have saved over 750,000 meals via Too Good To Go! To get a Costa Magic Bag, head to the app.

Anaerobic digestion

Any food that cannot be eaten is sent back to anaerobic digestion, where it produces green biogas rather than going to landfill.

Donating surplus food

We also strive to reduce food waste in our supply chain (for example in warehouses), which we predominantly achieve by donating surplus food that might otherwise go to waste to FareShare. FareShare then redistribute this food to a range of charities and community groups across the UK. Since 2014 we have donated 144 tonnes of food to FareShare, more than 340,000 meals.

Maximising machine lifespan

Since 2014, Costa Express has worked closely with resource management group, WEEE Scotland Ltd, to reduce the carbon and waste footprint of our Express machines. In an average year Costa Express engineers send over 11,000 parts to WEEE Scotland where an impressive 83% of these items are remanufactured and certified for reuse within the Costa Express business. The remaining materials are transferred to WEEE Scotland’s fully licensed recycling division where the equipment is dismantled and segregated into different material types (plastic, metal, glass etc) for recycling. We are proud that no item is sent to landfill.  


We're supporting the people at the heart of our business and investing in our teams by creating an inclusive work space so people can bring their true selves to work.