Paper Cup Recycling Group 'Confident' Of Progress Despite Waitrose Action
The Paper Cup Recycling and Recovery Group (PCRRG) replied to British retailer Waitrose's decision to eliminate disposable cups in its stores by saying that it is 'confident of the progress that has been made in recycling cups' in the UK.
It said that Waitrose, which is a member of the PCRRG, made the decision internally and that the retailer is 'fully aware' of the industry's progress in meeting its goal of being able to recycle the majority of paper cups in the UK by 2020.
The voluntary group's members include paper board and paper cup manufacturers, distributors, waste, recycling, and reprocessing companies, coffee brands, as well as local authorities and NGOs.
A spokesperson said that, "Paper cups are the most food safe and sustainable solution for tea and coffee on-the-go and have a positive role to play in the UK economy; it is important that people realise their benefits and any individual decision is not misinterpreted.
"Paper cups are made from sustainable certified forestry sources and account for just 0.27% of UK paperboard production and 0.7% of the UK’s total packaging waste."
"Circular Economy Model"
It is estimated that 2.5 billion cups are thrown away every year in the country. They can be difficult to recycle, due to their composition of a paper exterior with a plastic lining, as well as food waste contamination.
The group said that with the future DS Smith paper mill capacity in Kent, announced in March, along with the ACE UK facility that went online in January, in addition to existing facilities such as James Cropper, Kendal, all of the UK's used paper cups can be recycled.
She added, "The industry is continuing to work hard across the supply chain to increase the number of collection and recovery points for consumers and to increase the number of waste collection partners who recover used paper cups and direct them to one of the many reprocessing plants in the UK. This circular economy model benefits both the consumer and industry as a whole."
In March, the UK government rejected a proposal to put a 'latte levy' on disposable cups. It said that instead, businesses should give customers a discount for bringing a reusable cup.
In January, Prime Minister Theresa May had committed to eliminate all "avoidable" plastic waste by 2042.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.