DS Smith launches coffee cup recycling programme in mainland Europe

Written by: Maddie Ballard | Published:
Coffee cup recycling has increased from 1 in 400 cups to 1 in 25 cups in the UK

Recycler DS Smith has announced it will bring its coffee cup recycling programme to Europe following a successful trial.

The trial at De Hoop Mill in the Netherlands saw 100,000 disposable cups recycled in collaboration with DS Smith’s collection partner, Renewi.

Further trials are now underway and later this year, DS Smith will officially launch its programme to tackle the 4.5 billion disposable coffee cups used by Benelux coffee drinkers per year.

Miles Roberts, group CEO of DS Smith, said: “We need to work together to ensure that we are not negatively impacting the environment and single-use coffee cups do not end up in landfill.”

He called for support across the supply chain, adding: “But we need help. Our biggest challenge remains getting hold of the cups.

“We’re calling on governments to work closely with us to solve the problem of supply and ensure consumers put cups in separate recycling bins.”

The expansion into Europe follows a successful UK cup-recycling programme at DS Smith’s Kemsley Paper Mill.

Over the past two years, in part thanks to such programmes, coffee cup recycling has increased from 1 in 400 cups to 1 in 25 cups in the UK.

DS Smith hopes to see an equally powerful impact in Europe, which makes up a whopping 30% of the global coffee market.

Charging for disposable coffee cups separately rather than offering a discount makes consumers switch to reusables more, a Zero Waste Scotland study found.

This builds on recommendations from the Environmental Audit Committee to charge a 'latte levy' on single-use cups.


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