Collaboration is the Key to Sustainable Solution for used Coffee Cups

The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) welcomes the focus that the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has brought on the issue of recycling, not just for used coffee cups, but also other ‘on the go’ packaging.

Simon Weston, CPI’s Director of Raw Materials said: “We welcome the EAC’s recommendation of a target and timescale to improve the recycling of coffee cups, and we call on all parts of the packaging supply chain to collaborate on finding the most sustainable solution for manufacturers, brands, consumers and recyclers.”

As a member of the Paper Cup Recovery & Recycling Group, CPI wholeheartedly supports its manifesto to improve the recycling of used paper cups. CPI members, such as James Cropper & ACE-UK/Sonoco, are already actively involved in the recycling of coffee cups at their own speciality mills. Furthermore, DS Smith, which operates the largest UK recycled paper mill in Sittingbourne, has just announced trials that will take place this month to evaluate the costs and technical issues of the bulk recycling of coffee cups in mainstream paper making processes.

The CPI and its members remain at the forefront of finding a solution to the challenges presented by recycling coffee cups. We recognise the need for both voluntary and legislative measures to help drive a solution that is in keeping with the UK’s circular economy aspirations. We also recognise that the challenge is not limited to coffee cups and must ultimately embrace rapidly changing consumer lifestyle choices as more and more packaging is disposed of on the go in modern societies.

Investment in collection and recycling infrastructure goes hand in hand with technical developments in finding a solution. However, we need to take a holistic view of this challenge and fully understand the effects of embracing more and more coffee cups, and indeed similar on the go packaging, into our recycling systems.


For further information contact Mike Dobson, Communications and Public Affairs Manager on 01793 889612 or email [email protected].


  • The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) is the leading trade association representing the UK’s Paper-based Industries, comprising paper and board manufacturers and converters, corrugated packaging producers, makers of soft tissue papers, and collectors of paper for recycling.
  • CPI represents an industry with an aggregate annual turnover of £6.5 billion, 25,000 direct and more than 100,000 indirect employees.

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