National coffee retailers in new recycling push with shopping centre owners

National coffee retailers in new recycling push with shopping centre owners

A consortium of national coffee retailers, led by Costa Coffee, have partnered with property company Landsec to improve improve the sustainability of the coffee industry.

In what is being called a UK first, an industry-wide working group - established by Landsec - is trialling methods to “dramatically increase” the amount of coffee cups successfully recycled.

Three Landsec retail destinations – Bluewater, Trinity Leeds and Gunwharf Quays – are running individual trials to establish the best way of encouraging customers to dispose of their coffee cups properly.  

The trials are being run with partners such as The Hubbub Foundation, an environmental campaign charity.

Landsec said there are “significant barriers” that are preventing disposable coffee cups from being recycled including the 5% plastic insert which is difficult for papermills to remove.

It said it is intervening at two key points in the lifecycle of a coffee cup. At the point of disposal, Landsec is working to increase the number of cups that consumers put in dedicated coffee cup recycling bins or are recycled in-store. As part of the trial, there are both new bins and new signs at each of the retail destinations, alerting consumers to the importance of separating used coffee cups from other waste.

“Costa Coffee has been at the forefront of addressing the complex issues around coffee cup recycling and we’re delighted to partner with a landlord as forward-thinking and passionate as Landsec to look at increasing the recycling rates within their operating environments,” said Ollie Rosevear, head of environment, Costa.

“We are collectively working on exciting solutions with the will of consumers wanting to do the right thing and look forward to further innovating UK-wide solutions”.

Only last week, Costa's energy and environment manager Oliver Rosevear, was reported on claiming that a reform of the Packaging Recovery Note (PRN) system would accelerate the shift to a circular economy more effectively than a 'latte levy'.

The PRN system is the evidence required by producers of packaging waste to comply with the Producer Responsibility (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2005.

Landsec said it plans to roll the scheme out across the rest of its portfolio in the coming months.

Tom Byrne, sustainability manager, Landsec, said: “Problems of this scale cannot be eradicated by one organisation – or even one industry – alone. The complexities of supply chains are such that we need to view sustainability issues holistically, to drastically reduce the amount of waste that doesn’t get recycled.

“Consumers are largely unaware of the significant barriers to recycling coffee cups on a large scale. This initiative is about bringing organisations together to find a solution, in a pragmatic and practical way.”

Landsec is also ensuring that, after collection, used coffee cups are distributed to a suitable mill. 

The news was unveiled in the same week that environment secretary Michael Gove unveiled plans for businesses and manufacturers to pay the cost of recycling or disposing of their packaging waste as part of the Governments Resources and Waste Strategy

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