Coffee cup recycling rates on the up

31/10/2018 - 06:00
Foodservice operators are doing everything they can to become more sustainable. And it seems their efforts are not in vein. A new report published this week (29 October) has found that coffee cup recycling rates have increased from 1:400 to 1:25 since 2016.

And according to conductor the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG), rates are set to increase further to 1:12 by 2019.

With ‘capacity to recycle all papers cups used in the UK’ these days, the group said it is ‘confident’ of meeting its 2016 manifesto goal that by 2020 “the greater majority of the UK population will have access to information, schemes and facilities that enable used paper cups to be sustainably recovered and recycled.”

Following a series of collaborative workshops and seminars, PCRRG and its members have ensured the following over the past 12 months:

  • There are now more than 4,500 paper cup recycling points in the UK
  • 115 local authorities now collect paper cups with paper cartons
  • 21 waste collectors now actively participate in a national recycling scheme
  • Five reprocessors are accepting paper cups
  • At least nine councils include paper cups in kerbside collection schemes for householders

Neil Whittall, PCRRG chairman, commented: “The industry can be justly proud of the progress that it has made so far, but of course we know that there is more work to do.

“Consumers are rightly demanding change and Government is keen to make that happen. However, we believe that by working together we are demonstrating that industry can and will make change in a way that benefits the circular economy, protects UK manufacturing and engineering jobs, and does not threaten the success of the high street.   

“As a result of our actions and our support for PRN reform, we don’t believe that burdening the consumer with more cost in the form of a cup tax or charge is needed.”

Claiming to be ‘impressed’ by how the foodservice industry “has taken a serious challenge and pulled together to effect change that is workable for all stakeholders” Mark Pawsey, chairman of the All Party Parliament Group on Packaging, added: “The desire to make change has driven people to set aside their competitive differences in order to achieve something that is wanted by consumers, Government and is right for the industry.  

“I am confident that the PCRRG will meet and exceed its manifesto goal, and its work is a credit to the industry and an example to other sectors.”

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