Costa Coffee

Recycling and waste management
a cup of coffee

Helping Costa Coffee divert waste from landfill

Costa Coffee is the UK’s largest coffee chain with over 2,000 stores nationwide in locations such as high streets, airports and train stations. A subsidiary of the Whitbread Group, the company has grown rapidly in recent years and aims to double global sales to £2 billion by 2018.

The challenge

Costa Coffee wanted to divert more waste from landfill. At the 800 Costa stores and over 370 franchises service by Veolia there was little room for recycling bins and in-store segregation had to be as simple as possible. The key goals were to reduce costs through rate reduction, innovation and optimisation:

  • Increase recycling rate to 80% across the Veolia serviced coffee shops
  • Invest every year to better manage waste through segregated waste streams and recycling
  • Maximise recycling across the operations

The solution

Veolia reduces costs by finding value in, transforming or eliminating waste to help businesses become more sustainable.

Veolia has combined Costa sales data into their management reports so that spend and tonnage are managed on a site by site basis according to the site’s revenue. This means sites only pay for the services they need which provided £120,00 savings in the last financial year.

Through its Innovation Den, £30,000 of funding was awarded by Veolia to help solve the problem of coffee cup recycling. From this, a new cup recycling process has been set up at a Veolia facility which can sort and recycle Costa’s 40 million cups per year and more. The new system was supported by a communication campaign, store literature and staff alerts.

Value delivered

Veolia introduced a new model that diverts 99.2% of waste and maximises recycling.


Do you have a challenge similar to Costa Coffee?