Woolworths has rolled out its new coffee cup recycling initiative to all Western Cape stores with cafés, coffee carts or pods.
Photo: Supplied
Woolworths has rolled out its new coffee cup recycling initiative to all Western Cape stores with cafés, coffee carts or pods. Photo: Supplied

Woolworths rolls out innovative coffee cup recycling programme

By Dhivana Rajgopaul Time of article published Jan 23, 2020

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DURBAN - Woolworths has rolled out its new coffee cup recycling initiative to all Western Cape stores with cafés, coffee carts or pods.  

The retailer also offers a custom-designed recycling bin which will enable in-store customers to ensure their coffee cups are recycled in three quick, easy steps.

The innovative Woolworths coffee cup recycling bin has three distinct compartments.  The first step is to dispose of the plastic lid in the first partition which is sized so that only lids can fit in.  Remaining liquid in the cup then needs to be poured into the liquid partition which has a 1.5 litre bucket in it that is emptied and sanitised between uses.  

Finally, the coffee cup is placed into the third partition which is shaped to resemble a coffee cup to make it easier for the user. The lids and cups are then collected from Woolies’ stores through the reverse logistics system which uses return trips to transport recyclable store waste to the Woolworths Distribution Centre where it is collected and sorted before moving onto the recyclers.

"Our Western Cape roll-out of the programme will be a pilot for a scaled-up collection so that we can refine the end-to-end process if necessary. Following that, we will implement the model and process regionally to achieve a national roll-out.  We have seen a very positive response at our Garden Centre store with collection rates that exceed world averages within the same confines," said Woolworths Group Head of Sustainability, Feroz Koor.

The coffee cup recycling programme is a further development on the Woolworths Good Business Journey that aims to achieve zero waste to landfill.  Woolworths is moving steadily towards meeting its commitments which include eliminating single-use plastics by 2020 and ensuring that all its packaging is either recyclable or reusable by 2022.  "Once we have rolled the coffee cup recycling bins out nationally, we believe that this will be the most extensive coffee cup recycling programme in the country," said Koor.

Woolworths also offers various reusable coffee cup options for customers who prefer to use their own coffee cups, as well as giving a R1 discount for bringing your own cup. 

In 2019, the retailer rolled out its low-cost, reusable bag to more stores across the country as well as announcing three more ‘plastic shopping bag free’ stores.  

Woolworths initially did a six month trial in four of its Western Cape stores. 

Later in the year, Woolworths has now reformulated their current earth friendly products and has expanded the range to include a total of 24 eco-cleaning and seven plastic-alternative household items.  

The packaging of the entire Woolworths Earth Friendly range is fully recyclable. Some of the products are packaged in green Plastic HDPE bottles which is plastic that doesn’t use ethylene gas from fossil fuel (Oil) to make the Polyethylene it uses ethylene extracted from sugar cane, so it is 100 percent renewable.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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