Foodservice sector defends coffee chains over cup recycling

Posted on December 30, 2011 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News

There are some fair comments in the reply to the Which? report in the link below.   Consumers do have a large responsibility to dispose of items in the best manner not just the most convenient manner.  However the manufacturers have made it so easy for consumers to get take away cups that it is inevitable that they are not being disposed of properly.  In that sense the manufacturers are also responsible for a lot of this trash.

Each coffee cup has a plastic lid and these can be seen littering all over the place.   They will last for 100’s of years.  How can we make a item that has a life of just 15 minutes then know it will last for 100’s of years after that if it is not recycled?  We know at the moment most plastic waste goes to a landfill.  So why not make the plastic lids with a landfill biodegradable additive that will allow them to biodegrade if they do go to a landfill.  If they get recycled then that is fine too.  The addition of the landfill biodegradable additive does not affect mainstream recycling at all.  So it becomes a good backstop method to control the plastic waste of these coffee cup lids.  This is something manufacturers ought to be doing up front.

It does not as was pointed out above however, stop litter from occurring.