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Bywaters, London’s leading recycling and waste management company, has joined Costa’s coffee cup recycling scheme to help increase coffee cup recycling in London.

Coffee Cups Are Surprisingly Hard to Recycle

A total of seven million coffee cups are thrown away daily, equating to a staggering 2.5 billion per annum.

Although predominantly made from paper, coffee cups items contain a polyethylene lining, which means cups containing the fused materials can’t be recycled at standard recycling plants. This means they are treated as general waste items by recycling companies.

How Bywaters Is Working Together to Cut Coffee Cup Waste

This exciting new partnership will allow Bywaters to tackle this complex waste challenge head-on by collecting clients’ coffee cups from their premises for a small cost of £1 per bag. These cups will then be treated and baled at our state-of-the-art Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in East London.

Bywaters aims to collect the assortment of paper cups within five working days, providing customers have a minimum of 10 full bags. We are also notifying customers to use clear 90L bags (which Bywaters can provide) in order to monitor the quality of material and prevent cross contamination during the coffee cup recycling process.

All procedures are rigorously monitored by Bywaters’ compliance partner Valpak, verifying each kilogram of coffee cups to be recycled. These products are then transferred to our trusted partner mills across the country and  made into high grade paper products, such as notebooks.

Working to Help Achieve Costa’s Recycling Ambitions

Earlier this year, Costa Coffee, part of Whitbread, pledged to recycle 500 million coffee cups a year by 2020 – the equivalent of their entire yearly sales of takeaway cups, and 1/5 of the 2.5 billion coffee cups consumed in the UK each year.

Speaking of the partnership, Oliver Rosevear, Costa Coffee’s Head of Environment, said:

“We are delighted that Bywaters have joined our cup recycling revolution helping to increase the volume of paper cups being recovered and recycled across London – giving this highly valuable material the opportunity to be recycled into a new product.”

Anthony Egbokhan, Bywaters’ Strategic Environmental Manager, added:

“Now is the time to get everyone in the industry working together, as we help contribute towards Costa Coffee’s recycling target.”

Bywaters never stops working towards our ambition for a more sustainable future and to reduce single-use plastic waste, and we’re delighted to be working together with others in the industry to solve a problem that has gone on too long.


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