The great coffee debate – Helen Tandy

I watched the coffee cup episode of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s War on Waste, in August while on my zero spend challenge. Coffee shop coffee was off the menu that month and I did miss my odd Cappuccino. I don’t buy them often, instead opting for fresh Fairtrade coffee made at home or Organic Mint tea which goes with me in my travel cups.

As I noted at the time for many, the trip to the coffee shop is a daily event, a part of their schedule that can’t be skipped.Coffee

The War on Waste campaign to recycle the take away coffee cups is great in itself but why not encourage the use of
reusable cups. The programme stated that 5,000 coffee cups are binned every minute.

But why do we now spend such a huge amount of money on take away coffee?

I have just completed the Breadline Challenge through FoodCycle which challenges you to live off £2,50 each day for a week. Some of the speciality coffee’s cost more than the amount some people have available for a whole days food and drink budget. It does make you think about our obsession for coffee on the go.

  1. By eating and drinking on the go we are not savouring the flavour of the food or drink we buy.
  2. The cost of takeaway food is huge against the level of budget available to some people in the UK, according to the Joseph Rowntree Trust there are 3.8 million workers in poverty, the largest group being female employees.
  3. The amount of waste our obsession with food on the go creates, through the packaging, most of which isn’t or can not be recycled.

So I can’t change this and neither can Hugh but at least some steps in the right direction have been made.

Costa Coffee’s has announcement that it will recycle coffee cups across its UK stores is a huge step in the right direction.

Hubbub Foundation have had coffee cup recycle points in Manchester for a few weeks now with its #1MoreShot bins You can see these until 25th December – see blog for more information and location 

More needs to be done – please sign the Friends of the Earth Campaign and lets at least end  waste from coffee cups as a start- sign here

Think about giving up the odd coffee and sign this to support those charities helping those in poverty in the UK.