Friday, August 23, 2019
Home Recycling UK wakes up and smells the coffee (cup recycling)

UK wakes up and smells the coffee (cup recycling)

Veolia is rolling out a UK-wide coffee cup recycling solution underscored by trials by partners such as Costa and Starbucks.

With 84% of takeaway hot drink consumers still using disposable cups, Veolia’s solution aims to collect takeaway cups as soon as the consumer has finished their drink to reduce cup contamination and increase recycling rates.

The solution is now available to existing customers nationwide and to potential new customers, as part of a packaged service, and offers multiple service options.

These include a specialist designed in-house recycling bin, a bulk collection option and a post back service – which is available to all business types nationally.

By capturing cups before they enter the general waste stream Veolia’s solution aims to get a higher quality of material that can be reprocessed into a new product. And the public is onboard.

The latest YouGov research shows 88% of the public would use a purpose-built bin to ensure their disposable paper cups is recycled.

Almost half would even be willing to hold onto their cup for longer if they knew they would pass a purpose-built bin, and nearly a quarter would go out of their way to use one.

As a result, Veolia is calling for more disposal locations, such as train stations, university campuses and offices, to step-up and help solve the coffee cup conundrum with them.

Once the consumer has ‘Tipped-it, flipped-it and stacked-it’ – a process to ensure any remaining liquid is drained and the lid, sleeve and cup are separated – Veolia undertakes a further separation process to guarantee all rogue items have been removed.

This is key because it will help to ensure a higher quality of material that can be reprocessed into a new product.

After the cups have been debagged, separated, checked for quality and contamination, and baled up they go on to further treatment at paper pulping facilities, which recover the fibres and separate the polymer plastic lining.

Working with a number of outlets, the fibre could potentially be used to make a multitude of products such as egg boxes or cup holders given back out in stores or alternatively used in the manufacturing of cellulose-based insulation for homes.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com/ Africa Studio