As regular CultureJukebox readers will know, Â we’ve been campaigning against coffee cup waste for a long time now.
So, it was great to read aboutÂ Hugh Fearnley Whittingstallâ€™s BBC News piece, here.
There are some eye-opening statistics in the piece.Â In his War on Waste campaign, Hugh estimates that 2.5 billion single-use cupsÂ per year go to landfill in the UK.Â But the problem is much bigger when we look beyond Britain… Â With estimates of up toÂ half a trillion manufactured, globally, over 100 billion single-use cups go to landfill each year. Starbucks, in the US alone, serves 8,000 cups per minute.
At CultureJukebox HQ weÂ just received an email from an Â innovative company called Ecoffee. It explains:
Due to the volumes produced, single-use cups are cheap and make up a miniscule percentage of the cost of a cupÂ of coffee, which means a change to something more sustainable will impact on profits, andÂ shareholders are averse to anything that does that.Â Starbucks has announced it will be â€œtriallingâ€Â Frugal Cup â€“ a recyclable single-useÂ cup â€“ in the UK. Whilst this is a step in the right direction, we donâ€˜t believe it tackles theÂ problem at the source. We canâ€™t see how this will work in practical terms either. Â Separation and non-contamination of recycling is the key and unless facilities exist, itÂ will be very difficult to ensure such separation occurs, especially when dealing with cupsÂ that are taken off premises. Instead, and as is the current reality, cups will simply end up in general waste.Â In order to have any impact at all, coffee chains need to invest in special facilities – dedicated bins, dedicated waste recovery, dedicated recycling facilities – and pool resources to do it. Unfortunately, we canâ€™t see this happening any time soon.
So, we think that rather than focusing on the recycling of single-use cups, itâ€™s behaviour that needs to change. A bit like single-use plastic bottles, and more recently, plastic bags, itâ€™s evident that itâ€™s not that hard to change a few little things to help makeÂ a big difference. Reusable coffee cups are the way forward.
We’ve stopped drinking coffee from single-use cups. And you should too! TheÂ Ecoffee Cup is worth checking out. MadeÂ from biodegradable bamboo fibre and available in a wide range of designs, Ecoffee Cup is light, practical and resealable for easy storage in bags.
With a number of coffee shops and cafes offering discounts for those using reusable cups, it also saves money for the British coffee consuming public. The Ecoffee Cup team hasÂ set up the #stopthe100billion social media campaign in an attempt to raise awareness of the issue and effect real change in the way we consume coffee.