It turns out that only one in four-hundred paper coffee cups are recycled in the UK; the rest of the 2.5 billion cups used every year are thrown in landfills or turned into greenhouse gases via incineration. The main problem, apart from people simply not throwing the cups in recycling bins, is the plastic lamination on the paper that makes the cups more waterproof. A new cup being released this week, made by a company called Frugalpac uses a thinner film that can be more easily removed to recycle the paper, which itself is less chemically treated than conventional cups.
Starbucks in the UK has announced that it will trial these more easily recycled cups, and hopefully they’ll stick with it. Rebecca Smithers writes for The Guardian:
The cups will feature in a forthcoming television investigation by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. For his next War on Waste documentary, which airs on BBC1 on 28 July, the chef and campaigner has challenged major coffee shop chains to explain why more cups are not recycled and consumers not given better information about environmentally friendly disposal. But Starbucks, one of the UK’s largest coffee chains, is set to be the first retailer to test the product, saying it will trial the Frugalpac cup in some branches.
A Starbucks spokesman said: “We are very interested in finding out more about the Frugalpac cup and we will be testing it to see if it meets our standards for safety and quality, with a view to trialling its recyclability.”
Myerscough said: “Hugh’s team approached us back in January to find out more about the cup, which was still in prototype form. We think Frugalpac will make a huge contribution to the solution and we’re looking forward to working with the industry to make this happen.”
In March the government watered down statutory plastic packaging recycling targets just days after high street coffee chains were criticised for allowing millions of coffee cups to end up in landfill.
Myerscough is in talks with coffee shop chains and supermarkets about using the cup, which will be manufactured in the UK, as their standard product. He said: “We’ve spent the last two years developing our cup and we hope now that coffee chains and cup producers will see Frugalpac as an answer to this issue.”
See the original article here.