January 7, 2018
Burnham-On-Sea coffee drinkers can now recycle plastic-lined cups

Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge coffee drinkers are now able to recycle single-use plastic-lined paper coffee cups from High Street cafe and takeaway chains for the first time.

Higbhridge's Isleport Recycling Centre has begun taking the plastic-lined paper cups amid growing concern about the environmental impact of discarding huge quantities of the cups.

MPs this week called for a 25p 'latte levy' to invest in recycling and encourage drinkers to carry their own reusable mugs.

The plastic-lined paper cups can now be recycled at the Highbridge centre in the skip for Tetra Pak-style food and drink cartons.

And while cups and cartons are not yet taken in Somerset kerbside collections, this will change when a new 'Recycle More' service is rolled out from 2020.

Somerset Waste Partnership says the UK throws away 2.5 billion single-use coffee cups a year - and less than 1% of coffee cups are currently recycled.

It adds that the cups and cartons are a complex construction of layered plastic and paper; they are difficult to recycle and are dealt with at a specialist facility in Halifax.

Somerset Waste Partnership managing director Mickey Green said: "Reusable mugs or taking coffee in a flask are the best on-the-go alternatives to single-use cups, but it’s great news that single-use cups are now easier to recycle."

"It’s important that these will be recycled in the UK, helping us maintain our track record of recycling 96% of materials we collect in the UK."

SWP made it clear that while single-use cups can be recycled at a dozen Somerset recycling sites, plastic items, such as straws, cup lids and stirrers cannot. These should be added to residents’ rubbish, but Recycle More will enable residents to recycle much more plastic waste at the kerbside.

Highbridge's Isleport recycling centre is open Mondays from 8am - 7pm; Thursdays through to Saturdays from 8am - 4pm; and Sundays from 8am - 1pm.

The cup initiative is the result of a collaboration between industry body the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment - which pays for the skips at recycling sites - and High Street firms, including Caffe Nero, Costa, Greggs, McDonald’s, Nestlé, Pret A Manger and Starbucks.

It also follows campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recent War on Waste TV show, which focused on coffee shops.

Last week, The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee called on the Government to introduce a 25p single-use charge to a takeaway coffee, with the money used to ensure cups and other food and drink packaging is recycled.

Only the four smallest Somerset recycling sites at Castle Cary, Cheddar, Dulverton and Somerton are currently unable to offer the cup recycling service as there is not room.


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