Why Leeds is forefront of pioneering campaign to revolutionise disposable coffee cup recycling

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Trinity Leeds is at the forefront of a pioneering campaign to revolutionise the way disposable coffee cups are being recycled.

Specially-designed bins and signage have now been installed to ensure visitors’ used coffee cups are properly recycled instead of going to landfill.

PIONEER: Trinity Leeds is trying a new way of cutting waste from coffee cups.

PIONEER: Trinity Leeds is trying a new way of cutting waste from coffee cups.

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In a UK first, an industry-wide working group – established by Trinity Leeds owners and FTSE 100 property company Landsec – have partnered with a consortium of national coffee retailers, led by Costa Coffee, for the initiative that aims to improve sustainability of the coffee industry.

There are barriers preventing disposable coffee cups from being recycled, despite public enthusiasm for it. The small plastic insert inside the cups is difficult to remove, whilst UK legislation also prevents papermills who produce food packaging from recycling disposable cups.

Landsec is also ensuring that, after collection, used cups are distributed to a suitable mill, by brokering relationships between coffee retailers and waste companies.

Tom Byrne, sustainability manager at Landsec, commented: “Problems of this scale cannot be eradicated by one organisation or even one industry alone.

“The complexities of supply chains are such that we need to view sustainability issues holistically, to drastically reduce the amount of waste that doesn’t get recycled.

“We’re saying to the industries involved that we can see the problem, we’ve got a good idea of how to fix it and we’d like to work together to do so.”