The disposable coffee cup is here to stay.
A tiny minority of take-out coffee fans bring their own re-usable cup with them but this is having little impact on the number of paper coffee cups used.
Brave attempts at arranging collection of used cups, especially from the larger chains, and transporting them to one of the few recycling plants in the UK than can deal with separating out the plastic lining (PE) before pulping the rest of the cup, are not cost or carbon effective.
Several years ago cups started to be made with a plant plastic lining (PLA) but we know now that this is not the environmentally sustainable solution we once believed it to be as again cups need to be collected in and transported to one of only a few industrial composition plants that will accept packaging. This composting process requires extremely high temperatures (58ºC) for prolonged periods in order to convert PLA packaging to compost.
Today however thanks to an excellent patented new way of creating and applying the lining to the cup we can offer a cup that is 100% plastic free - that includes being 100% PLA free and PE free - that allows the cup to be recycled in every local paper and board standard recycling stream in every area of the UK and for those who wish to these will totally compost within 6-9 weeks on home compost heaps.
Another by-product of this ability to totally compost without industrial intervention is that if the cups do end up on landfill they will compost there also
Do take a look at our reports and data and note especially the earthworm test which is a signpost that composting is occurring without any negative impact on the environment.