Costa Coffee to trial new recyclable fibre lids

UK coffee shop Costa Coffee has announced the launch of new trial of 100% fibre lids. Made from renewable plant-based material, the lids are 100% recyclable and will be available at 150 Costa Coffee stores across the UK, until stocks last.

The trial goes live just a month after the UK’s biggest coffee shop chain committed to halving carbon emissions per coffee serving by 2030 and reaching Net Zero by 2040.

The trial will gather ‘real life’ consumer and store team member feedback of the new lids, including look and feel, following significant testing and development in controlled environments. The lids will also be trialed in select Costa Express machines this summer. If successful, Costa Coffee will roll out the new lids in early 2023.

The new fibre lids will be available across small, medium, and large takeaway cup sizes and has up to 50% lower carbon footprint than the current polystyrene plastic lids. As part of an ongoing effort to reduce its environmental impact, last year, Costa Coffee changed the lining of the inside of its takeaway cups to be plant-based plastic, rather than an oil-based plastic. The cups, now available nationwide, have a 26% lower carbon footprint than Costa Coffee’s previous takeaway cups when recycled. The trial of the new fibre lids will mean those consumers opting for a takeaway cup will be able to enjoy their favourite Costa coffee in 100% plant-based packaging.

Commenting on the announcement Costa Coffee’s global brand & sustainability director, Deb Caldow, said: “Last month we announced our global carbon reduction targets, committing to halving carbon emissions per coffee serving by 2030 and reaching Net Zero by 2040. Targets require action and today’s announcement is another positive step in the right direction, helping improve single use options for coffee fans.

“We are working simultaneously on three key areas within our packaging – Reuse, Reduce, Recycle. Our aim is to encourage consumers to adapt reuse regularly, through offering reusable ‘rent a cup’ schemes and by rewarding consumers through an enhanced loyalty scheme, rewarding those opting to reuse.

“However, we know we need to come at this from all angles – and constantly improving single-use material options, as well as maximising cup collection and recycling are all parallel priorities. Last year we launched takeaway cups made from 100% plant-based materials in major markets around the world and have plans to continue to improve the iconic Costa Coffee cup. We are now focusing on single-use lids, moving from polystyrene plastic lids to new fibre lids that are sustainably sourced, made from renewable material and are fully recyclable.

“We’re confident that the trial will show us that consumers are ready for the switch from plastic to fibre and that as the UK’s favourite and biggest coffee shop chain, we can make a huge difference in reducing the volume and impact of single-use, oil-based plastic, on the environment. We hope other brands will join us in giving consumers easy ways to make more sustainable choices when enjoying their daily coffee.”

Also leading on reuse, Costa Coffee recently extended its UK trial of a blockchain technology-powered reusable cup scheme, BURT (Borrow, Use, Reuse, Takeback), which allows consumers to borrow (‘rent’) a reusable cup to takeaway and return it on their next visit. They also relaunched their loyalty scheme last year with sustainability considerations at the forefront through the introduction of “Green Beans”. The scheme now rewards consumers with a free drink after only four purchases when using a reusable cup, compared to 8 purchases in a takeaway cup.

Finally, Costa Coffee’s 2030 target to halve emissions per serving of coffee have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) – the internationally-recognised partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the Worldwide Fund for Nature. Costa Coffee was also one of the first brands to sign up to the British Retail Consortium’s Climate Action Roadmap, continuing to lead and participate in external industry coalitions.

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