Costa Coffee has committed to recycle up to 500 million disposable coffee cups a year by 2020.
That’s the equivalent of its entire yearly sales of takeaway cups and a fifth of the 2.5 billion takeaway coffee cups consumed as a nation every year.
It has pledged to ensure takeaway coffee cups are collected and sent to paper mills for recycling, paying a supplement of £70 to the waste collectors for every tonne of cups recycled.
As a result, the waste collectors will get around £120 for every tonne on average, up from £50.
Costa has partnered with Biffa, First Mile, Grundon, Suez and Veolia for the initiative.
The company already offers a 25p discount to customers that use a reusable cup and recently said it would replace plastic drinking straws with environmentally friendly alternatives at its stores.
Managing Director Dominic Paul said: “Costa is putting its money where its mouth is to find an immediate solution to increasing the volume of takeaway coffee cups being recycled in the UK. It also dispels the myth that coffee cups can’t be recycled.”
Environment Minister Therese Coffey welcomed the news as a “significant step” to help coffee lovers do the right thing and increase recycling.