DS Smith, a sustainable packaging company, has called on independent businesses across the UK to help stop the scourge of coffee cup waste as it launches a brand-new scheme which could see hundreds of millions of cups recycled each year.
In the UK up to 7.8m cups end up in landfill or are burned every day, with 58% of British workers disposing of their cups at work – making it a critical battleground in the fight to recycle. To respond to this, and following successful trials with key partners including EY, DS Smith has launched its specially designed Coffee Cup Drop Box.
Made from recycled paper, the box can be used to collect coffee cups from across the UK and is available to the 2.7m businesses operating in the UK. Each box holds around 700 cups and once full it is collected by Royal Mail and is returned to DS Smith’s recycled paper mill, the UK’s largest, to be recycled back into new paper packaging products.
The company broke new ground last year when it redefined coffee cup recycling and announced capacity to recycle 2.5bn coffee cups at its mill in Kent.
As a result of efforts by DS Smith and others in the industry, coffee cup recycling has increased from 1 in 400 to 1 in 25 cups over the past two years. According to new YouGov research commissioned by DS Smith, over half of GB adults (54%) believe that when they recycle their used coffee cups they are turned into new products. However, nearly 20% of adults think that even when recycled these cups end up either incinerated or landfilled. Critically, the number of disposable cups used each year in the UK is estimated to have risen by 20% from 2.5bn in 2016 to 3bn.