https://deframedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/12/21/environment-minister-welcomes-expansion-of-disposable-cup-recycling-scheme/

Environment Minister welcomes expansion of disposable cup recycling scheme

Environment Minister welcomes expansion of disposable cup recycling scheme

Photo of a discarded coffee cup on a concrete ground.
Photo credit: ThinkStock

Businessgreen and Packagingeurope have reported on the expansion of Valpak’s scheme which collects coffee cups and sends them for recycling.

Caffè Nero, Greggs, McDonald’s and Pret A Manger have joined the scheme to fund disposable cup recycling. New collection points will also appear in these stores.

The Valpak Scheme is a market-led solution whereby cup retailers pay a supplement of £70 to the waste collectors for every tonne of cups collected. This takes the value of one tonne of cups from being worth on average £50 to £120, a 140% increase, making it commercially and financially attractive for companies to recycle these cups.

The Valpak scheme was launched in April this year by Costa Coffee. Within the scheme’s first six months, over 41 million cups have been recovered for recycling.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey, said:

I would like to congratulate these businesses for stepping up to the plate to tackle plastic waste and reduce their environmental impact.

The expansion of the Valpak scheme will help even more people do the right thing and recycle disposable cups.

The Government is committed to eliminating avoidable plastic waste, and we will continue to explore ways to encourage reuse and increased recycling rates for takeaway cups.

The Government is committed to eliminating avoidable plastic waste, and we will continue to explore ways to encourage reuse and increased recycling rates for takeaway cups.

Businesses are already taking steps to limit their environmental impact, but we expect industry to go further and will return to the issue if sufficient progress is not made. In the meantime we will consider other options and our forthcoming consultations as part of our new Resources and Waste Strategy will consider whether or not we could drive further progress.

The UK is making great strides to tackle the plastic that blights our streets, rivers and oceans – protecting wildlife from ingesting harmful plastic with our world-leading ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products, and introducing a highly successful plastic bag charge which has seen13 billion plastic bags taken out of circulation in the last two years alone. 

The Government has also announced plans to extend the plastic bag charge to all retailers, consulted on banning the sale of straws, plastic-stemmed cotton buds and stirrers , and will consult on introducing a deposit return scheme for single use drink containers shortly.

In the Autumn Budget 2018 The Chancellor announced a world-leading brand new tax on plastic packaging for businesses producing or importing plastic packaging which doesn’t meet a minimum threshold of at least 30% recycled content, subject to consultation, from April 2022. This will address the current issue of it often being cheaper to use new, non-recycled plastic material despite its greater environmental impact.