Written By Jovana Lazovic
With the wastage of plastic cups rapidly increasing Nestle has come up with a clever solution
There is a major gap when it comes to the recycling of coffee cups and as a result less than 1 in 400 (Gould 2016) coffee cups which are sold in the United Kingdom are being recycled.
Most of the large coffee chains much like Nescafe, are supplied with cups which are covered in laminated plastic to make them water resistant but are ultimately not sustainable for the environment.
There are only very few special recycling organisations which are able to separate the coated plastic around the cups from the paper fiber. Nestle has taken it upon themselves to provide their consumers with more innovative designs which would reduce the waste and in return benefit the environment positively.
Nestle is producing “Coffee-to-go” which contain a pack of four disposable cups as well as a pre-filled instant and ground coffee mix. According to the official spokesperson for Nescafe the lid of the cup, the foil as well as the packaging is completely recyclable. They “will continue to work hard to overcome the infrastructure barriers of the recycleability of the entire cup” (Gould 2016).
This sudden change in perspective comes from societies imense pressure to comply with the current environmental standards to stop misleading people on the manufacturing process and too strive and be as sustainable as possible.
One of the premier coffee giants, Starbucks, had come up with a clever way to draw in more consumers as well as being environmentally conservative in the process by giving their customers discounts. They are able to redeem their discount by bringing in their own cup. Other chains have done similar things such Costa who promised to donate a proceed of 10 pence to a charity, called Keep Britain Tidy, when a customer brings in their reused cup. Another method implemented is Pret a Manger who actually has no official policy for a discount but they do give their staff the option to give customers coffee on the house if they bring in a reused coffee cup.
However, Nestle’s Nesafe to-go coffee cups are very much effortless in regards to shifting people’s habits of what they are used to. Instead Nestle was innovative enough to produce an alternative throw-away material. The idea for this particular innovation was initially pitched as a DIY solution for people travelling to and from work but require affordability as well as convenience. This design solution is very effective in what its aims are and is able to conserve the environment all whilst keeping the consumers happy and free of compromises.