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First nationwide rollout of cup recycling scheme

Costa coffee machine

Costa has begun a nationwide rollout of its paper cup recycling scheme with Veolia across 2,000 outlets.

Used cups left at a Costa shop are collected by staff and stored at the rear of the premises. The company’s waste partner, Veolia, then transports them to specialist processing plants.

Under the scheme, announced in November and launched on 6 February, cups from rival shops are also accepted.

The move follows a successful trial in more than 45 outlets last year.

In November, Costa UK&I managing director Jason Cotta said: “Our research in Manchester and London shows around 40 cups per day are left in stores, which means we have the potential to recycle 30 million Costa cups a year.

“What’s more, the fact that we will accept competitors’ cups means we could significantly increase that figure. This will not be a trial. This is going to be business as usual.”

Costa gives customers 25p off drinks when using a reusable cup and has announced it will launch its own range of two multi-purpose cups in April.

The company is conducting independent research with Sheffield University to further investigate cup recyclability, with results expected to be shared this year.

It is also set to begin investigating manufacturing processes and test materials for a potential new takeaway cup working with packaging companies Huhtamaki, Delipac, Frugalpac and reCUP.

Veolia has a similar arrangement with Starbucks, which announced a trial across 20 stores in central and west London in January.

As with the Costa scheme, Starbucks customers will be able to hand in cups from rivals.

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