A new coffee cup recycling programme has been rolled out at all Western Cape Woolworth stores with cafés, coffee carts or pods. This comes after successful trials at the Woolworths Head Office and Garden Centre store.
The programme is in response to the problem presented by coffee cups which have mixed materials and often can’t be recycled because of food waste contamination. With these challenges in mind Woolworths has developed a bin with three separate sections, which will allow in-store customers to make sure that their cups are recycled.
The first compartment is for the plastic lid of the cup. The hole is only wide enough to fit a lid, thus ensuring that different materials are not mixed. Second, customers are required to empty the remaining coffee into the liquid partition thus ensuring that there is no food contamination. Finally, the cup itself is disposed of in the third compartment, which is in the shape of a cup to make it easier for customers.
Recyclables will be collected from stores and transported to the Woolworths Distribution Centre, where it is collected and sorted before moving onto the recyclers.
According to the Woolworths Group Head of Sustainability, Feroz Koor, the roll-out in the Western Cape is a pilot for a larger-scaled collection. The purpose is to note if there are areas in the process which need improvement. Once the pilot in the Western Cape is complete, they will implement the programme regionally to achieve a national roll-out.
“Once we have rolled the coffee cup recycling bins out nationally, we believe that this will be the most extensive coffee cup recycling programme in the country,” adds Koor.
The initiative is part of Woolworths’ committment to eliminate single-use plastics and to ensure that packaging is recyclable or reusable.