One way, Love Lochs and Landscapes CIC will achieve its aim of making tourism sustainable is to help visitors to reduce and recycle the waste they generate. Litter has been an issue this summer and this campaign is to help visitors and businesses consider the waste from takeaway hot drinks.
Around 200m single use coffee cups are used each year in Scotland and this figure is estimated to grow to 310m by 2025. Take away cups look like paper, but a thin plastic liner inside holds their liquid contents. The materials are difficult to separate, and can contaminate the paper and cardboard waste stream with both the plastic element and any liquid still remaining in the cup. The conditions of a commercial composting facility are required to recycle compostable coffee cups. Recycling coffee cups is not available in current street or home waste collections. Less than 1% are recycled.
Starting on 1 October International Coffee Day, we are working with local businesses to reduce the waste being littered and sent to landfill from takeaway hot drinks in two ways.
The first is to encourage customers to use a reusable cup. Worries from Covid transmission has stopped some businesses from accepting reusable cups. There is no evidence of transmission of the virus though food packaging as long as basic hygiene is followed. Starbucks and Costa Coffee are now accepting reusable coffee cups again. We support the Refill campaign which connects people to places where they can buy a hot drink in a reusable cup.
The second way is to collect the used single use coffee cups and send them for specialist recycling. The Drymen Hub and Skoosh in Main Street Drymen; But & Ben in Main Street Croftamie; the Soup Dragon Café at Tir Na Nog, Balfunning, and Turnip the Beet at the Killearn Mill Business Park, have joined the two-pronged campaign to reduce and recycle waste in the area. The businesses not only actively encourage customers to use reuseable cups but also are collecting used single-use hot drink containers from their outlet – and from other cafes too – for recycling.
Once collected the cups are sent to First Mile who with their specialist processing partners, separate the materials before they are used in production of new products. Paper and plastic are used in producing shopping bags, notebooks and cardboard and compostable material becomes nutrient-rich fertiliser.
Denise Foster who runs Skoosh coffee shop in Drymen is taking part “I myself cannot make a huge difference for this beautiful country’s landscape but if we ALL do just a little something we can ALL make a huge difference together”.
If more businesses in Loch Lomond and Trossachs accept reusable cups and the more customers become familiar with carrying a reusable cup, we can make a difference to the huge number of coffee cups being sent to landfill and the waste being littered. Message Refill Loch Lomond and Trossachs Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a business who would like to sign up.