Sustainable packaging company DS Smith has announced it is expanding its coffee cup recycling programme to Europe through its De Hoop Mill in the Netherlands.
The launch, which follows a successful trial at the mill, aims to tackle the 4.5 billion disposable coffee cups currently used by coffee lovers in Benelux annually and stop them ending up in landfill or incineration.
The recycler first introduced a bespoke recycling approach for cups at its Kemsley Paper Mill in the UK.
As a result of efforts, coffee cup recycling has increased from 1 in 400 to 1 in 25 cups over the past two years in the UK.
While we’re a continent of coffee lovers, we need to work together to ensure that we are not negatively impacting the environment and single-use coffee cups do not end up in landfill
DS Smith says it is determined to see an equally powerful impact in Europe, which is the largest market of coffee drinkers on the planet, representing 30% of the global coffee market.
Miles Roberts, Group CEO of DS Smith, commented: “While we’re a continent of coffee lovers, we need to work together to ensure that we are not negatively impacting the environment and single-use coffee cups do not end up in landfill.”
“We’re proud to be able to export our successful recycling formula to Europe. But we need help: our biggest challenge remains getting hold of the cups. We’re calling on Governments to work closely with us to solve the problem of supply and ensure consumers put cups in separate recycling bins, knowing that they aren’t just recycled in theory, but in practise too.”
“Guilt free” coffee
At the initial De Hoop Mill trial in the Netherlands, DS Smith worked alongside Renewi, its collection partner, to successfully recycle over a 100,000 disposable coffee cups and further trials are underway ahead of a launch later this year.
Prior to DS Smith’s commitment to tackle the issue of coffee cup recycling, used coffee cups presented significant challenges to paper mills, due in part to their plastic lining.
Many people do not realise that coffee cups contain plastic, or that coffee cups are notoriously difficult to recycle.
DS Smith has nine paper mills across Europe and has the capacity to tackle Europe’s coffee cup waste problem.
Recycling used coffee cups is just one example of DS Smith’s commitment to a circular business model and its unique industry-leading position as a net recycler.
With the support of Governments and consumers, it is possible to ensure that Europeans can continue to drink coffee “guilt-free”, DS Smith says.