Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has prompted Britons to demand major high street coffee chains provide recyclable coffee cups, after a BBC programme documenting the waste caused by disposable mugs.
Comedian Dom Joly led calls on social media for chains including Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero to use recyclable material, after it was revealed their coffee cups have to go in the general waste bin.
Fearnley-Whittingstall’s latest episode of BBC One’s Hugh’s War On Waste saw the chef and campaigner tear into the high street shops. saying that they were misleading the public over claims of using “recyclable” cups.
He called on the public to get involved in pushing the companies to sort out their hot drinks receptacles - and they did not disappoint.
Fearnley-Whittingstall was shown learning that just 1% of coffee cups in the UK are actually recycled - despite claims by major coffee chains that they have “recyclable” cups.
The problem is that “paper” cups are not actually simply made of paper but include a layer of polyethylene. This means they cannot simply be recycled with paper or cardboard.
Following the outrage on Twitter, Costa did actually tweet in response...
Natalie Bennett has also joined the row over coffee cups after an incident on a train.
When the Green Party leader asked for a hot drink to be served in her own reusable cup, train staff refused. Great Western Railway later said that this was for health and safety reasons.
According to the BBC, she added that the “huge number of coffee cups that are pouring into our waste stream is a huge impact on our environment” and said she would be “asking them to change the policy”.
We throw away a staggering 2.5 billion cardboard coffee cups in the UK every year.