London, Melbourne look to tackle cup waste

Separate groups in London and Melbourne are both looking at introducing schemes to reduce the levels of waste caused by disposable coffee cups. The new schemes come after groups in Sydney and Berlin also announced trials to tackle the problem, with indications that the issue is becoming something of a global touchpoint for coffee consumers. It is estimated that more than 2.5 billion cups are disposed of in the UK every year, with less than 1 per cent of those being recycled and the rest being sent to landfill. However, the City of London Corporation have now teamed up with Network Rail, coffee retailers Costa, Pret a Manger and McDonlad’s and some employers to introduce dedicated coffee cup recycling facilities around the city’s central business district. It is hoped that the new scheme will divert around 5 million cups from landfill. The coffee cups that are collected will be turned into items such as pencils and park benches. In Melbourne, Australia, another UK organisation is launching a separate effort to tackle the exact same problem Down Under. Closed Loop is collecting disposable cups from participating organisations by providing them with dedicated coffee cup collection tubes. The organisation hopes that the project will demonstrate a solid business case for building a coffee cup reprocessing facility in Australia. Estimates put the number of disposable coffee cups thrown away in Australia at about 500 million per year.

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