DS Smith claims it's found a solution to the coffee cup recycling challenge

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:
DS Smith says 2.5bn coffee cups could be recycled every year at its paper mill in Kent

UK packaging and paper company DS Smith claims it has 'found a solution to the coffee cup recycling challenge'.

Using its paper mill in Kent, the company says it could recycle up to 2.5bn coffee cups per year.

However, it argues that recycling collection infrastructure needs to be improved for it to reach anywhere near this amount.

The plastic lining which has made the cups difficult to recycle in the past is pulled out and fed into the company’s adjoining Energy from Waste plant, while the paper is recycled.

Speaking to RWW, DS Smith general manager Peter Clayson said the breakthrough is an example of businesses not just shouting from the sidelines.

He said: “The trial we did in January proves that we are capable of taking in a large quantity of coffee cups if they are segregated beforehand. Unlike other plants, which are further up North we are on the door step of London where we see a large amount of coffee cup waste.

“If we can work together with local councils, coffee sellers, and the waste management sector to improve segregation of the cups and develop a comprehensive collection infrastructure, we can make a huge difference together.”

DS Smith has written to government to call for measures to support better cup collection and provide details of its coffee cup recycling capacity to the PCRRG (Paper Cup Recycling and Recovery Group).

Clayson added: “We told the government we need reform of the PRN system to enable hard to recycle materials to be welcomed, yet we’re aware that PRN reform is not the complete answer.”

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