An Irish company has launched a network of collection boxes around the country to recycle coffee cups.
Zeus, an Irish-owned global packaging company, today launched Ireland's first coffee cup recycling scheme.
The AIL Group, the retail group behind Abrakebabra, the Bagel Factory and the O’Briens sandwich chain, has signed on as the first customer of the scheme.
The coffee cup collection boxes will be rolled out to 80 O’Briens and Bagel Factory outlets nationwide from next month.
According to a study by Recycling List Ireland last year, 200 million single-use coffee cups are thrown away every year in Ireland.
Zeus owner, Brian O’Sullivan said: “This is the solution to the problem of every coffee cup in Ireland – a complete, closed-loop system which has the capacity to recycle every type of paper coffee cup from every coffee shop, office or workplace.”
At a cost of 7c per cup, the scheme collects coffee cups for recycling, using specially designed cardboard coffee cup collection boxes.
Mr O’Sullivan said: “Great strides have been made recently in public awareness and increased use of recyclable and compostable coffee cups.
"However, as has been flagged by the Government, environmental groups, retailers and consumers, proper recycling infrastructure that ensures these cups don’t end up in landfills is not in place. Proposals such as the recently announced government plans for a ‘Latte Levy’ also don’t resolve this issue.
“Through the Coffee Cup Recycling Scheme, we are providing that infrastructure, allowing every coffee cup in Ireland to be recycled correctly."
The initiative is an exclusive partnership in Ireland sustainable packaging and recycling company, DS Smith, who designed the coffee cup recycling boxes.
DS Smith pioneered coffee cup recycling at traditional recycled paper mills, allowing for the recycling of cups into new paper packaging products. Used coffee cups collected by Zeus will then be sent to DS Smith for recycling.
Made from recycled paper packaging, the boxes can hold up to 700 used coffee cups. Once full, the boxes will be then be collected from businesses.
To reduce the carbon footprint, Zeus will compact the boxes and store until there is a full shipment load, before being shipped to DS Smith’s recycled paper mill in Kent, UK, for recycling.