The waste mountain of coffee cups


“Every day hundreds of thousands of Britons put their coffee cup into a recycling bin. They’re wrong – those cups aren’t recyclable, and the UK throws away 2.5bn of them a year. It must stop.” writes Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

One chilly morning last March – exactly the sort of morning when a warming cafe latte could seem appealing – I took to the streets of London in a double-decker bus adorned with 10,000 empty takeaway coffee cups.

It might have looked like a piece of dodgy conceptual art, but it was actually designed to illustrate the vast volume of takeout cups we throw away daily in the UK.

My bus didn’t represent all of them, though – 10,000 is the number of cups the UK gets through in just two minutes.

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Note from Eco-Congregation Scotland: When we use paper cups and plates for events we use compostable / biodegradeable ones made by a Scottish company called Vegware. To find out more visit their website: