The public perception of poor waste management in the coffee sector has driven the search for solutions in two areas: Better waste management (specialist re-cycling schemes) and niche uses of waste.
The market size for recycled paper from cups is < £250K and for coffee waste < £100,000*.
Re-useable cups are a standard feature of many supermarkets, homeware stores and department stores. This is a very varied market sector with a widespread range of offerings
The specialist market is expanding at a rapid rate (more than 15% a year). This is being driven by public awareness of the waste issue spurred by PR campaigns run by Hubbub and City councils in Manchester and London, campaigners (e.g. Fearnley-Whittingstall) on BBC/Channel 4 and promotional activities run by coffee companies themselves where discounts (£0.25) are offered to customers who have a re-useable cup.
There is also campaigning activity to encourage the Government to legislate for a levy on disposable cups (£0.10 -25) to discourage use in the manner in which plastic bag use was reduced.