London’s Heathrow International Airport has unveiled plans to standardise and recycle all single-use coffee cups by the end of the year in an effort to cut down plastic waste.
The airport has become the latest business to pledge action against plastic waste, which threatens the survival of the environment and oceans.
Single-use coffee cups to be recycled at the airport will be collected by Heathrow’s retail and lounge business partners.
As part of the initiative, all retailers at the airport are required to use standardised paper cups that will be collected by Heathrow and recycled in the UK.
The airport further plans to put in place a reuse system across all terminals to help eliminate single-use cups.
The initiative is expected to recycle more than 13.5 million coffee cups a year.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “As a small city, we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and using all our influence to ensure individual companies working within our boundaries do so as well.
“This announcement takes us one step further, ensuring all single-use coffee cups at the airport are able to be recycled with additional support from Heathrow.
“For businesses, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee – join us in banning single-use coffee cups in your office today so that we can make a difference to tomorrow.”
Earlier this year, the airport trialled a reusable coffee cup system at its head office, managing to eliminate more than 250,000 single-use cups.
The airport witnesses an annual traffic of 78 million passengers who use more than 13.5 million disposable coffee cups.
The move will help improve the existing UK recycling rate by 0.25%, with the number of recycled cups in the country set to increase by 200%.
In the coming weeks, the airport will create dedicated coffee cup collection points across all terminals. The use of standardised cups will simplify sorting.
Heathrow will also encourage passengers to bring personal reusable cups.