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A solution to coffee cup recycling

In-house design and manufacturing specialist, Regency Design & Print, has designed and produced a solution for recycling takeaway coffee cups.

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Regency Design & Print has developed a solution for disposable coffee cup waste

Whilst takeaway coffee cups can deceptively seem recyclable with their cardboard exteriors, the cups are lined with plastic which stops liquids from leaking.

Because of this, the cups need to be separated from other recyclable materials when thrown away. This is what gave Regency the idea to create bespoke recycling units which have separate compartments for the cup, lid, and liquid.

Zak Manhire, chief commercial officer at Regency Design & Print says: “The work we do is all about providing innovative solutions to the problems that our customers face, along with the country as a whole.

“In this instance, it means creating a product that allows coffee sippers to quickly separate the parts of the coffee cup, so that their waste can be recycled. Our solution does this and allows for quick and easy collection in high footfall areas such as train stations and coffee shops.”

The separation bin solution allows users to separate their disposable cups and recycle each part correctly

According to a YouGov study commissioned by Network Rail, the majority of rail users want to recycle their paper coffee cups but don’t know how. As a result, 58% of users will use either a waste bin or general recycling bin even though they can't process the paper cups.

The issue of waste produced by non-recyclable takeaway coffee cups was addressed in 2018 by local coffee shop chain, Boston Tea Party (BTP). Research published by BTP found that only 1 in 400 of the estimated 2.5 billion plastic coated coffee cups in the UK each year are recycled.

Despite experiencing a £250k fall in sales in the first year the ban started, the shop has remained strong and still only accepts reusable coffee cups.

The solution will help to minimise the incorrect disposal of coffee cups

Whilst this initiative is a great reminder to coffee and tea drinkers not to throw disposable coffee cups into waste bins or recycling bins, the new product by Recency provides an alternative solution for when you don’t happen to have your reusable coffee cup to hand.

Another issue occurred during the pandemic when takeaway coffee shops were forced to stop accepting reusable cups for hygiene reasons.

Manhire adds: “The UK was making good progress with the adoption of reusable coffee cups, but COVID-19 safety concerns will no doubt hinder this progress, and with Britain getting through an estimated 2.5 billion cups a year, it is encouraging to see big brands adopting a more sustainable approach to cup waste.”

Regency’s solution is already being used by well-known brands such as Costa and Pret a Manger. Network Rail is also making an effort to improve recycling at its stations with the use of Regency’s separation bins for its Sip, Save and Recycle scheme.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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