Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Stewart pledges to tackle coffee cups

Resource minister Rory Stewart has pledged to act on the recycling of disposable coffee cups, following recent concern.

Labour MP Rob Marris asked the Government to look at ”the problem” of plastic-lined coffee cups not being recycled, with an estimated 2.5 billion items sent to landfill each year.

The issue has garnered mainstream attention, including a Daily Mail front page, after TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall accused major coffee firms Costa Coffee and Starbucks of having misleading messages about waste on their websites.

Recycling firm Simply Cups said cafés had been under the misapprehension that used paper cups would be recycled when placed into a commingled recycling stream.

Now Stewart (pictured) has described it as a “huge problem” at a Defra Q&A in the House of Commons.

He said: “Having tackled plastic bags – and I hope everyone in the House would agree that the plastic bag tax has been a success – coffee cups seems to be a very good thing to look at next.”

Meanwhile, the Recycling Association has criticised the Mail’s coverage for connecting the issue to the UK’s overall recycling performance.

It took particular aim at the newspaper’s article headlined ’Britain’s rubbish at recycling: The billions of coffee cups being dumped every year symbolise the UK’s wasteful ways’.

Chief executive Simon Ellin said: “Paper coffee cups account for less than 0.00005% by weight of the UK’s total waste production, so although ideally we should be recovering more, the impact on the environment per se is negligible.

“To then relate this to UK recycling performance generally is a cheap shot and is counterproductive. I would argue that misrepresenting information like this has a far more negative impact on the environment than does the paper cup problem because it disengages the public when it comes to recycling.”

Paper recycler Mark Lyndon UK’s managing director Paul Briggs also called on the newspaper “to report all the positive messages too” to engage the public.

Readers' comments (1)

  • The Daily Mail isn't a newspaper - it's a scare sheet.
    Support Recycling Association view - hardly a big issue.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.