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Brewing up a recycling solution

Coffee Cup Recycling

In the UK, we drink more than seven million cups of takeaway coffee every day. But the nation's love of coffee doesn't just result in a big caffeine hit. It also packs a huge environmental punch.

Working in partnership with Costa and Starbucks, Veolia has launched the very latest coffee-cup recycling scheme to a variety of stores and commercial premises.

The aim is to separate the coffee cup from the general waste as soon as the customer has enjoyed their coffee. This initial separation is key, as one of the biggest challenges to recycling is the food waste contamination and damage caused when cups are mixed with general waste go to a Veolia hub.

Once collected, cups go to a Veolia hub where they are debagged, separated and baled before being taken to a treatment facility. At the treatment facility, the coffee cup fibres are recovered and separated from the polymer plastic liner. The paper pulp is then recycled into a range of products such as insulation, egg boxes or even coffee cup holders!
In addition to the collection scheme, we are working with Starbucks to recycle household coffee capsules through 900 of their stores.

Providing recycling bags that can hold up to 75 capsules enables customers of the coffee chain to return any used capsules to the store or post them back free of charge: an innovative solution that will certainly perk up our customer's circular credentials.