Worldwide we drink over 1.6 billion cups of coffee every day. From strong, dark espressos to creamy egg-based cà phê trứng, the planet runs on this bitter, caffeinated drink.
In Western Europe in particular, we have become increasingly fond of coffee shop culture with nearly 5 percent of all cafes focused on serving the bean-based beverage alone. The UK is one of Europe’s largest consumers and one in five Brits visit a coffee shop every day leading to 2.5 billion disposable cups being thrown away each year according to a report by the UK Government.
Takeaway cups are made from paper, though, so surely this waste problem can easily be solved with recycling? Sadly not. In order to stop your drink from leaking out all over your clean white shirt, a thin plastic lining is added to the inside of the cup making them impossible to process in a conventional paper recycling mill. As a result, most are either simply sent to landfill or incinerated.