Big coffee brands should increase their focus on bio-based and biodegradable materials to stop the growing UK problem of coffee cup waste, manufacturer Biome Bioplastics has claimed.
The Southampton-based firm has developed a range of biodegradable coffee cups, lids and coffee pods in response to the growing problem.
Seven million paper cups are used in the UK every day, amounting to 2.5 billion cups dumped in landfill or incinerated each year.
Biome Bioplastics chief executive Paul Mines, said: “Many coffee drinkers are acting in good faith, buying products with the recycling logo that they assume are being recycled when put in the bin.
“The fact is that much of this mixed plastic waste, such as coffee cups and pods, is simply ending up in increasingly large volumes in landfills across the country.”
However the government rejected the possibility on Friday (18 March) that coffee shop cups could be taxed to prevent millions of them being thrown away.
Environment minister Rory Stewart had told MPs there was a "huge" problem with unrecyclable, plastic-lined paper cups.
Mines added: “There are high-tech materials being produced here in Britain that are available for market. We are currently producing bio-based materials for a number of large brands in the convenience coffee industry – such as cups, lids and pods – which can either be recycled or thrown away to compost with coffee grounds.”
“The recent revelations of exactly how much landfill waste is being created shows the urgent need for big brands to accelerate work in new, sustainable materials such as bioplastics, in order to respond to consumer concerns.”
Meanwhile coffee giant Starbucks has announced it is to offer customers who bring their own coffee cups a 50p discount.