Local coffee addicts now have somewhere they can recycle single-use plastic-lined paper coffee cups. News that Poole recycling site will take the cups comes as MPs call for a 25p “latte levy” to invest in recycling and follows campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recent War on Waste TV shows, focused on coffee shops.
Plastic-lined paper cups for hot drinks can now be recycled at Poole and 12 other Somerset recycling sites that have skips for Tetra Pak-style food and drink cartons. However, it will be another two years before these items can be collected at the weekly kerbside recycling collections.
The UK throws away 2.5 billion single-use coffee cups a year. Less than 1% of coffee cups are recycled. These cups and cartons are a complex construction of layered plastic and paper. They are difficult to recycle and are dealt with at a specialist facility in Halifax.
The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has called on the Government to introduce a 25p single-use charge to a takeaway coffee, with the money used to ensure cups and other food and drink packaging is recycled.
Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) managing director Mickey Green said: “Reusable mugs or taking coffee in a flask are the best on-the-go alternatives to single-use cups, but it’s great news that single-use cups are now easier to recycle. It’s important that these will be recycled in the UK, helping us maintain our track record of recycling 96% of materials we collect in the UK.”
For more information on recycling and recycling sites, visit: www.somersetwaste.gov.uk.