High street coffee chains must go ‘further and faster’ in developing recyclable cups, councils say.
The Local Government Association (LGA) is urging coffee giants to do more to ensure their cups are easily recycled because of the cost to councils of dealing with the waste.
An estimated 2.5 billion paper cups are discarded in the UK every year and many of these have plastic coating which must be separated before the cup can be recycled.
The ordinary paper recycling systems used by most councils are not set up to do this.
Most discarded coffee cups end up at landfill sites, creating an estimated 25,000 tonnes of waste which is a significant extra cost to councils.
English councils alone currently have to spend £3.3bn a year on recycling, collecting and disposing of waste.
Cllr Peter Box, the LGA’s environment spokesman, said: ‘Councils, who have experienced substantial budget reductions, are doing everything they can to try and tackle this but they need the industry to step up.
‘This means coffee giants working with councils to find practical solutions. The industry has recently shown signs of heading in the right direction on this issue – but it needs to go further, faster and demonstrate positive and immediate action in developing recyclable cups.’