City of London Corporation’s boost for coffee cup recycling
Hard to Recycle: the average disposable coffee cup. Image by JARStudioPhoto (via Shutterstock).
Since the arrival of American-style coffee shops, recycling disposable coffee cups has been a headache. Apart from the littering, recycling the average takeaway coffee cup is labour intensive. They use cardboard and plastic film and separating the two materials makes recycling difficult.
If you were to recycle a takeaway coffee cup at home, forget it. You would have to put it in the non-recyclable wheelie bin. In other words, the blue (often paper), green or black bin, and brown bins are out of bounds. In cooperation with Network Rail, the City of London Corporation have introduced a recycling scheme, according to The Guardian.
Instead of plonking your Costabucks Nero coffee cup into the nearest waste bin, there will be dedicated collection points inside the City of London Corporation boundaries. These will be placed within shops, offices, and the streets.
At present, the recycling rates for Britain’s coffee cups stand at fewer than 1%: in other words, one in 400. There has previously been a small scale pilot scheme in Manchester where 20,000 cups were recycled. Starbucks Coffee are trialling a 100% recyclable cup known as the Frugalpac. Some of the UK’s coffee stores and fast food chains have launched dedicated recycling schemes. Starbucks also offer discounts if you bring your own mug.
We think the City of London Corporation’s initiative deserves to succeed. Goodness knows how many cups will be recycled if the whole of Greater Manchester followed suit.
The cup of cheers
Instead of adding to the pile of recycled and non-recycled takeaway cups, we suggest that: 1) if you have enough time to sit in Costa, Starbucks or Morrisons café indoors, go for a proper mug; and, 2) why not bring your own mug, where this option is permitted.
A mug shot: two proper mugs, good for coffee. Even better with tea or coffee (mine’s milky with two sugars and a chocolate digestive). Image by Pointless Ltd (via Shutterstock).