UK coffee chain, Costa Coffee, has today (18 April) promised to “recycle the same volume of cups it puts onto the market” in a bid to stop them ending up in landfill and tackle the on-going issue of coffee cup recycling.

Launched today in partnership with five national waste collectors – each responsible for collecting, sorting and transporting the cups to recycling plants across the UK – Costa said it pays a £70 supplement for every tonne of cups collected.

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This year alone, the company expects to recycle “at least” 100 million cups and up to 500 million – the equivalent of it’s entire yearly sales of takeaway cups and a fifth of those consumed in the UK (2.5bn) each year – by 2020.

As well as benefitting the environment, the initiative will also support the only three paper mills in the UK that can “correctly” recycle coffee cups, who will move from recycling 14 millions cups to 100 million this year alone.

Costa managing director, Dominic Paul, said: “Costa is putting its money where its mouth is, to find an immediate solution to increasing the volume of takeaway coffee cups being recycled in the UK. It also dispels the myth that coffee cups can’t be recycled.

“Following today’s announcement, up to 100 million cups will be recycled this year alone and if the nation’s other coffee chains sign up, there is no reason why all takeaway cups could not be recycled by as early as 2020.

“At Costa, we want to guarantee our customers that if they throw their cup into the right recycling bin it will get recycled, and today’s announcement is a major step towards that happening.

“We have set our own target to recycle the same volume of takeaway cups we use every year and call on other cup retailers to join, and help to build a dynamic market for takeaway coffee cup recycling.”

Environment mnister Thérèse Coffey added: “Congratulations Costa on taking this significant step to help coffee lovers do the right thing and increase recycling.

“We all have a responsibility to our environment and this is a significant step by a British business, which should dramatically increase the number of disposable coffee cups that we recycle in this country.

“We want to help companies become plastic free and through our 25 Year Environment Plan,are putting in place the ambitions to encourage all of us to play our part in ending the scourge of plastic waste in our natural environment.”

Costa said: “Today’s announcement will work alongside our ongoing commitments to increase the use of reusable cups, while working with a number of designers and cup manufacturers, to minimalise and eventually eliminate plastic in takeaway cups.”