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Costa launches new nationwide cup recycling scheme

Written by Eric Johansson on Wednesday, 08 February 2017. Posted in Franchise

Following a trial at the end of 2016, the coffee franchise is now rolling out a new scheme across 2,000 stores

Costa launches new nationwide cup recycling scheme

Photo credit: monticello/

Tea may be the traditional hot drink of choice on these shores but coffee consumption is on the rise. In fact, Brits drink around 2.1 billion cups of coffee and only 874 million cups of tea outside their homes each year, according to research from NPD, the market-analysis company. However, with more people chugging coffee on the go there are also billions of coffee cups that aren’t being recycled. This is an issue that Costa, the cafe franchise, is aiming to solve.

The franchise will collect and recycle cups in its 2,000 UK stores and will also accept cups from competitors. Once collected, the cups will be transported to a specialist waste processing plant. This scheme follows from a trial in 45 stores in London and Manchester in November last year. The result of the trial was that approximately 14% of takeaway cups were recovered and recycled – significantly higher than the less-than-1% average recovery rate across the UK. Costa also announced that it will offer a 25p discount to customers who sip their hot drinks out of reusable cups, which will be on sale in Costa outlets from April.

And this isn't the first time Costa has demonstrated its green credentials: in January, the franchise was one of the coffee chains that joined forces with the City of London Corporation and Network Rail, the rail network infrastructure manager, in an initiative to solve the issue of unrecycled coffee cups. The scheme aimed to prevent five million coffee cups being sent to landfill in the Square Mile, reported the Guardian.

Costa’s latest recycling initiative comes almost a year after Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the celebrity chef and environmental campaigner, used his BBC series Hugh’s War on Waste to highlight that an estimated 2.5 billion coffee cups are thrown away each year. Starbucks and Costa were both singled out in the programme as two of the biggest waste-offenders in Britain.

And although Costa didn’t link its initiatives to the programme, we’re happy to see the company taking a shot at solving the issue.

About the Author

Eric Johansson

As web editor and resident Viking, Johansson ensures Elite Franchise is filled with engaging and eclectic entrepreneurial stories. While one of our most prolific franchise writers, he has sharpened his editorial teeth by writing about entertainment and fitness. Follow him on Twitter at @EricJohanssonLJ to catch up with his stream of consciousness.

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