Heathrow airport has pledged to recycle all single use coffee cups collected from its shops and lounges by the end of the year.
The airport will require all its food and beverage retailers and lounge operators to use a standard paper cup that can be collected and recycled in the UK as a first stage in a recycling initiative. A second stage will explore how a reuse system can be implemented at the airport.
Heathrow has already banned single use cups at its head office, where it has also trialled the reusable system, avoiding the use of more than 250,000 disposable cups. The airport estimates that it will avoid sending 13.5 million cups a year to landfill if single use cups are phased out across its five terminals, which account for 78 million passengers a year.
It added: “Heathrow and its partner retailers will encourage and incentivise passengers to bring personal reusable cups and work towards removing all single-use plastics from sale, such as bottles, straws and stirrers.”
Heathrow’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “As a small city, we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and using all our influence to ensure individual companies working within our boundaries do so as well. This announcement takes us one step further, ensuring all single-use coffee cups at the airport are able to be recycled with additional support from Heathrow.
"For businesses, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee – join us in banning single-use coffee cups in your office today so that we can make a difference to tomorrow.”