Coffee cup controversy

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was on an espresso-fuelled rampage in the capital yesterday. In his sights were the big chain coffee shops for “misleading” messages in relation to the green credentials of the disposable cups they use.

Just a day’s worth of the 2.5 billion cups used to port cups of Joe around are recycled, claimed the celebrity chef turned waste campaigner. Costa and Starbucks are doing very little to improve the situation, he said.

“Costa claims to have ‘the most environmentally friendly coffee cup in the world’. But they do not explain on what basis they make this claim.”

He also challenged Starbucks. The company claims on its website to be “on track” with a target to “make 100 per cent of our cups reusable or recyclable by 2015”, he explained. “I challenge Starbucks to prove that they recycled a single coffee cup in the UK in 2015.”

Both firms remained tight-lipped on Twitter as Fearnley-Whittingstall toured London in a “Wake up and smell the waste” branded bus.

Specialist facilities are available to process the mixture of materials found in the average disposable “paper” cup. SimplyCups, launched in August 2015, is one example.

Writing in February’s Footprint, Eunomia’s expert Chris Sherrington, suggested that a tax on disposable cups is the logical solution.

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