UK-based packaging and paper company DS Smith has pledged to recycle up to 2.5 billion cups a year using its paper mill in Kent.
Currently, the company recycles only one in every 400 discarded coffee cups, as 1% of its customers bring their own reusable cups.
However, DS Smith now believes to have found a suitable solution to the problem.
DS Smith recycling general manager Peter Clayson said: “We have been working around the clock to solve the throw-away coffee cup challenge, as enjoying a latte has become part of British culture.
“We could recycle up to two and a half billion cups each year, but we need the recycling collection infrastructure to be far better if we are to reach the goal of recycling every last cup.”
DS Smith has also urged the UK Government to implement measures that would help support a better collection of throw-away cups.
The company has provided the Paper Cup Recycling and Recovery Group (PCRRG) with details of its coffee cup recycling facility, in order to improve the country’s ability to reprocess the used coffee cups.
Clayson added: “There are two challenges to recycling a high volume of coffee cups. Firstly, there is the plastic lining that must be removed from the cups, then we need to ensure that the cups have not been too badly soiled by food waste.
“If we can work together with local councils, coffee sellers, and the waste management sector to improve segregation of the cups and develop a comprehensive collection infrastructure, we can make a huge difference together.”