coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee!

Wake up and smell the coffee!

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By: Garry Knox

The coffee culture society has led to the establishment and further growth of the ‘Take away’ coffee, either via small independent coffee houses through to huge national and international chains.

This equates to billions of cups a year. At an average of around $4 per cup, that’s great revenue for what is a reasonably profitable business (landlord rates depending!). But what is the environmental cost for our daily caffeine / decaf /Skinny fix?

In the UK alone, it is estimated that 2.5 billion cups are thrown away rather than recycled each year, meaning that at best only 1 per cent are recycled.

Many of the coffee cups you see will have a standard recycled sign but there is a mixture of cups that cannot be recycled due to the way they are manufactured or sometimes the recycling options just aren’t available to the consumer.

Some solutions to this already exist and some others are on the horizon. As a consumer, we can all take our own cups into the majority of coffee houses (some will also sell you one!) and ask for our coffees to go in our own cups.

Also, Total Quality Assurance provider Intertek is working in association with Frugalpac to establish the viability of their proposed recyclable cup by conducting and managing recycling trials, testing the cup’s functional performance, and measuring the cup’s carbon footprint.

Unlike traditional coffee cups, the Frugalpac cup is made from recycled paper board and can be recycled in normal paper recycling mills.

There are greener options out there, the consumers and retailers just need to go the extra mile to find them.



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