The new, easily recyclable Frugalpac cup could be trialled in Starbucks as part of a pledge to reduce the number of disposable coffee cups being landfilled or incinerated in the UK.
Starbucks could soon become the first major high street chain to test new recyclable coffee cups in its UK outlets.
The ‘Frugalpac’ cups are the brainchild of British entrepreneur, Martin Myerscough, who designed a the new, easily recyclable cup in a bid to divert some of the 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups that are currently incinerated or landfilled.
The Frugalpac cup differs to ordinary disposable coffee cups by way of a lightly glued thin plastic liner designed to easily separate from the paper component during the recycling process.
The current difficulties of recycling traditional coffee cups – because of the specialist equipment required to separate the heavily-bonded plastic coating from the paper counterpart – have led to fewer than one in 400 cups being recycled by major coffee retailers, such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Pret-A-Manger.
As a result of this, Starbucks introduced a system whereby drinks were discounted upon customers using reusable receptacles. However, following campaigning by TV personality, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the chain is set to trial the Frugalpac cups in some of its UK stores.
A Starbucks spokesperson said: "We are very interested in finding out more about the Frugalpac cup and we will be testing it to see if it meets our standards for safety and quality, with a view to trialling its recyclability."
An industry-wide pledge
The campaigning by Fearnley-Whittingstall has led to the creation of an industry-wide Paper Cup Recycling and Recovery Group (PCRRG), including a pledge to “significantly increase” the number of cups recycled by 2020.
Signed by companies such as Pret-A-Manger, Caffe Nero, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and Costa Coffee, Myerscough is currently in talks with some of these other major coffee outlets about the possible uptake of the cups.
Myerscough said: "People were shocked to learn that existing paper cups are only used once and rarely get recycled.
"We've spent the last two years developing our cup and we hope now that coffee chains and cups producers will see Frugalpac as an answer to this issue.”