This report details information gathered about single use cups and on the go fibre-composite food packaging.
The aim of this project was to gather data on the flows of single-use cups and on-the-go fibre-composite food packaging placed on market and recycled in the UK (and by nation). It also aimed to identify options for managing these items to help reduce environmental impact , and this included an assessment of potential policy measures.
In regards to market data, the study found:
- For fibre-composite cups, approximately 3.2 billion units (+/- 9%) were placed onto the UK market in 2019 (based on survey responses from key stakeholders)
- For plastic cups, approximately 1.0 billion units (+/- 9%) were placed onto the UK market in 2019.
- It is estimated that 2.9 billion cups lids and 0.2 billion cup sleeves (+/-18%) were placed onto the UK market in 2019.
- For on-the-go fibre-composite food packaging, approximately 3.2 billion units (+/- 9%) were placed onto the UK market in 2019
- It was found that the majority of single-use cups and on-the-go fibre-composite food packaging arise in England.
Some of the key findings around recycling included:
- Fibre-composite cups achieved 2.8% recycling rate in 2019
- There is enough recycling capacity to recycle all fibre-composite cups POM in the
- Plastic cups recycling in the UK is estimated at 2-4%
- There is enough recycling capacity to recycle all PET and PP cups
- Lids recycling in the UK is estimated to be close to 0%
- Sleeves recycling in the UK is estimated to be 2.8%
- No recycling infrastructure is in place for on-the-go fibre-composite food packaging
- Fibre-composite cups has the largest collection network and capacity
Six key policies were discussed, which are used for managing single use cups and on the go fibre composite food packaging:
- Takeback schemes
- Recycling targets
- Modulated fees
- Deposit return scheme for reusable and food containers.
Almost all policies reviewed were found to reduce waste management costs, with different combinations offering the greatest benefit in terms of litter avoidance and increased recycling.
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WRAP-fibre composite packaging report.pdf
PDF, 2.34 MB